DigiCoal: A computational package for characterisation of coal cores

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering


Elsevier B.V.


Originally published as: Jing, Y., Armstrong, R. T., Ramandi, H. L., & Mostaghimi, P. (2019). DigiCoal: A computational package for characterisation of coal cores. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, , 775-791. Original article available here


Coal cores contain a complex fracture system, known as cleats, that highly impacts its petrophysical properties. We present, DigiCoal computational toolbox, an integrated set of numerical functions, for analysing 3D micro computed tomography (micro-CT) images of coal and reconstructing representative digital models. The method presented in this paper can be applied to other fractured rocks as well. Coal characteristics analysed in this paper include cleat geometry, topology of cleat network, degree of mineralisation, and roughness of cleat surfaces. Micro-CT scanning procedures to obtain high-quality 3D images of coal are explained. Then, the steps to computationally analyse the images are described: CT image pre-processing, statistics extraction, digital coal modelling and structural analyses. This paper offers an overview of the structure and techniques used in the creation of the computational methods, together with code snippets and applications. © 2019