Comparative reactivities of coal asphaltenes during hydropyrolysis

W. Kemp, W. Steedman, M. A. Thomson, D. A. Scott

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Comparisons have been drawn in the relative reactivities of three coal asphaltenes during hydropyrolysis. All were derived from hydrogen donor-solvent extracts of bituminous coal, but had different hydrotreatment histories and different carbon contents (87.1, 91.9 and 90.8 wt% for asphaltenes 1, 2 and 3, respectively). The hydropyrolyses were carried out in the presence of CoO-MoO3 catalyst and gaseous hydrogen at 8.7 MPa. For two of the asphaltenes (1 and 2) systematic comparisons were made for different reaction times at 425°C; for all three asphaltenes comparisons were made for l h of hydropyrolysis at 425°C. The general pattern of asphaltenes conversion indicated that more pentane-soluble product was produced from asphaltene isolated from straight coal extract (asphaltene 1). For the asphaltenes isolated from hydrotreated extracts, the extent of conversion to liquids was limited when the carbon content was high (asphaltene 2) although the pattern of conversion was similar in the other hydrotreated asphaltene (asphaltene 3). The aliphatic content of the liquid products formed was low, and the distribution of hydrogenated species in the highly aromatic liquid products indicated that complete hydrogenation of the polyaromatics produced in pyrolysis is difficult. Altogether the aliphatics made up ˜ 10 wt% of the asphaltene 1 hydropyrolysate. Aromatic hydrocarbons made up 90% of the liquid product. Phenanthrene, pyrene and anthracene were prominent, and the largest component in the mixture was phenanthrene which, together with other polyaromatics such as fluoroanthene, dominated the liquid product. © 1985.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1379-1382
Number of pages4
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1985


  • asphaltene
  • coal
  • coal liquefaction
  • hydropyrolysis


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