11 мая 2021  |  
7:26 PM  September 20, 2019

TPU scientists look for rare metals in volcanoes ash from Mongolia

© Администрация Кемеровской областиTPU scientists look for rare metals in volcanoes ash from Mongolia

TOMSK, Sep 20 – RIA Tomsk. Geologists of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) study coal seams in the south and north of Kuzbass, where deposits of rare metals formed thanks to the ashes of volcanoes from Mongolia; research helps scientists identify new rare metal-coal deposits, the press service of the university reported on Friday.

The report explains that coal and peat are geochemical barriers, which forms the manifestations and deposits of many rare metals in coal seams. Only germanium is extracted from coal and, since recently, lithium and gallium in an industrial scale. A group of germanium-coal deposits has been identified in China. Rare metal-coal deposits in Kuzbass and in the Minusinsky basin are known in Russia since the last century.

"TPU scientists... study mineral-geochemical features of complex mineralization in formation XI in the south and north of Kuzbass, where ash of volcanoes of Mongolia is found... In total, researchers tested 12 sections – mountain sections and underground workings – between 1989 and 2018. This year the research of the TPU team continued thanks to the grant of the Russian Scientific Foundation," – the message says.

Scientists have proved that the source of rare elements in the studied coals is volcanic ash, which after powerful eruptions in Mongolia was transferred by wind to the territory of Siberia, where it settled with a layer of 5 to 20 centimeters and got into peat. A characteristic feature of such ores is the presence of a rock horizon with increased radioactivity, which allows to detect them at the stage of preliminary study of coal-bearing areas.

"Thus, our research allows to identify new rare-metal-coal deposits in order to increase the raw material base of strategically important metals. And determining the position of these deposits can help restore the history of the Earth at the time of their formation,"– the press service quotes the words of Professor of TPU, head of the research Sergey Arbuzov.

Geologists refer to the 36 of chemical elements of the Mendeleev Periodic System among the rare metals, which began to be widely developed by industry only in the 1950s-1960s. Many of these metals were discovered only at the end of the XVIII century, and rhenium, gallium, hafnium, germanium, scandium were discovered by Dmitry Mendeleev after creation of the Periodic System. Most of these metals are used in electronics, mechanical engineering, rocket engineering, and so on.

Earlier it was reported, TPU and Kemerovo region signed an agreement on cooperation within the framework of the created world-class scientific and educational center Kuzbass. We are talking about cooperation in the development of knowledge-intensive technologies in the field of exploration, efficient extraction and deep processing of solid minerals, mining engineering, integrated management of water resources of river basins, production of environmentally friendly energy.

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