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Groups of paramagnetic centres in coal samples with different carbon contents

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Complex systems of paramagnetic centres existing in demineralised flame coal (71.4 wt% C), medium-rank coal (85.6 wt% C) and anthracite (94.9 wt% C) were analysed by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (EPR). Different groups of paramagnetic centres were searched in macerals (exinite, vitrinite, inertinite) of coals with carbon contents of 73.8 wt% C and 85.6 wt% C. Experimental EPR spectra were fitted by different superposition of theoretical lines. Total concentration of paramagnetic centres both in coal and macerals increases with carbon content in the sample. Total concentration of paramagnetic centres in macerals increases from exinite to inertinite. Four groups of paramagnetic centres were found in medium-rank coal, and only two groups exist in flame coal and anthracite. The EPR spectrum of medium-rank coal is a superposition of two broad and two narrow lines. Both broad and narrow, and two narrow lines were measured in EPR spectra of flame coal and anthracite, respectively. Two types of paramagnetic centres with broad lines and one group with narrow lines exist in exinite and vitrinite from medium-rank coal. Two narrow components were observed in EPR spectra of its inertinite. Two different broad electron paramagnetic resonance signals were detected for macerals from low-coalificated coal. Paramagnetic centres systems of medium-rank coal samples reveal the most complex character. Broad EPR lines were not observed for the higher coalificated samples, i.e., anthracite and inertinite from medium-rank coal. Narrow lines do not occur in EPR spectra of low-coalificated macerals. Strong dipolar interactions and fast spin-lattice relaxation processes are characteristic for paramagnetic centres with broad lines. Strong exchange interactions and short spin-lattice relaxation time were measured for paramagnetic centres with the narrowest EPR signals.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Coal Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Sowínskiego 5, 44-121 Gliwice, Poland; 2: Division of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Institute of Physics, Faculty of Physics & Astronomy, University od Zielona Góra, Szafrana 4a, 65-516 Zielona Góra, Poland


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