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The inorganic geochemistry of three domed ombrogenous peat deposits in Riau and West Kalimantan provinces, Indonesia, was investigated as a possible modern analogue for certain types of low-ash, low-sulfur coal. Mineral matter entering the deposits is apparently limited to small amounts from the allogenic sources of dryfall, rainfall, and diffusion from substrate pore water. In the low-ash peat in the interior of the deposits, a large portion of the mineral matter is authigenic and has been mobilized and stabilized by hydrological, chemical, and biological processes and conditions.

Ash yield and sulfur content are low through most of the peat deposits and average 1.1% and 0.14%, respectively, on a moisture-free basis. Ash and sulfur contents only exceed 5% and 0.3%, respectively, near the base of the deposits, with maximum concentrations of 19.9% ash and 0.56% sulfur. Peat water in all three deposits has a low pH, about 4 units, and low dissolved cation concentration, averaging 14 ppm. Near the base, in the geographic interior of each peat deposit, pH is about two units higher and dissolved cation concentration averages 110 ppm. Relative concentrations of the inorganic constituents vary, resulting in chemical facies in the peat. In general, Si, Al, and Fe are the abundant inorganic constituents, although Mg, Ca, and Na dominate in the middle horizon in the geographic interior of coastal peat deposits.

The composition of the three deposits reported in this paper indicates that domed ombrogenous peat deposits will result in low ash and sulfur coal, probably less than 10% ash and 1% sulfur, even if marine rocks are laterally and vertically adjacent to the coal.

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