Nanoindentation study of macerals in coals from the Ukrainian Donets Basin

Vranjes, Sanja; Misch, David; Schöberl, Thomas; Kiener, Daniel; Gross, Doris; Sachsenhofer, Reinhard F.

This article discusses the mechanical properties of macerals in Carboniferous coals from the Ukrainian Donets Basin, covering a maturity range from 0.62 to 1.47 %Rr (vitrinite reflectance). The inherent inhomogeneity of geological samples requires characterization at the micro-/nanoscale, and hence material parameters, such as hardness inline-formulaH and reduced elastic modulus inline-formulaEr, were obtained from twelve coal specimens via nanoindentation tests. Different material properties and maturity trends were acquired for the individual maceral groups (vitrinite, inertinite, liptinite). The results indicate that apart from maturity, multiple factors like microstructural features and depositional environment control the mechanical properties of macerals in coals. inline-formulaH and inline-formulaEr of vitrinites show a complex relationship with maturity due to additional influence of microstructural features such as nanoporosity or mineral inclusions and complex changes in the organic matter structure with increasing rank. The mechanical behaviour of inertinites is mainly controlled by the prevailing conditions (temperature, exposure) during paleo-wildfires. inline-formulaEr and inline-formulaH of liptinites are strongly influenced by transformational processes related to devolatilization at low to medium rank, as well as later hydrocarbon generation. Variations in the depositional environment (e.g. increased organic S content due to marine influence) might play an additional role.



Vranjes, Sanja / Misch, David / Schöberl, Thomas / et al: Nanoindentation study of macerals in coals from the Ukrainian Donets Basin. 2018. Copernicus Publications.


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