Received 1 March 2005;
revised 4 July 2005;
accepted 9 July 2005.
Available online 2 August 2005.
Twenty samples of seam 32/33, the main seam of Panian coalfield in Semirara Island, Antique Province, Philippines, were collected from a borehole drilled at the northeastern edge of the coalfield. The samples were analyzed to characterize the coal geochemistry of the seam and understand why the coals of Semirara Island exhibit a high tendency for slagging and fouling despite its low average ash content. Analysis of the slagging and fouling characteristics of this seam is important because it supplies five electric power utilities and several cement plants in the Philippines. Proximate analyses and vitrinite reflectance measurements designate the rank of the seam as sub-bituminous C, based on ASTM coal classification. H/C versus O/C ratios indicate that the seam is made up largely of huminite, denoting early stages of coalification. Chemical analysis of the ash reveals high contents of Na, Mg, Fe, Ca, Ba and Sr. The strongly negative correlation of these elements with the ash content indicates an organic affinity of the chemical elements of the seam. Owing to enrichment in alkali and alkali-earth elements, slagging and fouling indices indicate that the seam has medium to high propensity for slagging and a severe tendency for fouling. The detrimental characteristics of coal feedstock from Panian mine is mitigated by modifications to the boiler design and operational conditions and by blending with coals imported from Indonesia, China and Australia.