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A new method to determine organic and inorganic associations of trace elements in coal was devised using the ratio of concentrations for 34 elements in five vitrinite concentrates to the concentrations in companion whole-coal samples. Trace-element concentrations were determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis. The samples, all high volatile A (hvA) bituminous coal, were from five different coal beds: two from the Appalachian basin, West Virginia and Alabama, USA; two from the Pennine coalfield, England; and one from the Sydney Basin, Australia. The ash content (weight percent) of the vitrinite concentrates after combustion at 960 to 1,000 °C ranged from...

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