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Micro/Nano-Pore Structure Characterization of Western and Central Nepal Coals Using Scanning Electron Microscopy and Gas Adsorption

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Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and low-pressure nitrogen gas adsorption (LP-N2GA) were performed on a suite of Nepal coal samples providing the first ever comparison of all these techniques for characterizing the micro/nano-pore structure of coals. The techniques were used to gain insight into the nature of the pore structure including the pore volume, specific area, pore size distribution (PSD) and pore shape. Five coal samples for micro/nano-pore structure analysis were taken from currently active coal mining site of Tosh coalfield (west Nepal) and Jhadewa coalfield (central Nepal). The LP-N2GA isotherms demonstrates significant differences in gas adsorption capacity among the coal samples studied. Micro/nano-pore morphology of coal surfaces was verified with SEM observation. Adsorption analysis revealed that pore size distributions are multi-modal, with a major peak between 3 and 6 nm. Bituminous (FC > 69) coal samples from central Nepal comprise more variety in terms of pore morphology than lignite (FC < 34) coal samples from the western Nepal. The combination of LP-N2GA and SEM analysis techniques gives an enhanced understanding of pore characteristics in coal, which will be useful for the gas control in coal mines.
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Keywords: LP-N2GA; Micro/Nano-Pore Structure; Pore Size Distribution; SEM

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Key Lab of Computational Geodynamics of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China; College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Publication date: September 1, 2017

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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