Effects of supercritical CO2 on micropores in bituminous and anthracite coal

Shiqi Liu, Shuxun Sang, Jingsheng Ma, Tian Wang, Yi Du, Huihuang Fang

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53 Citations (Scopus)
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The effects of supercritical CO2 (ScCO2) on coal micropores play a critical role in determining the CO2 capacity of coalbeds. To investigate the effects of ScCO2 on micropores in coals of different ranks under a range of temperature and pressure conditions, CO2 sequestration processes are replicated using a ScCO2 geochemical reactor. Four samples of coal of different ranks are exposed to ScCO2 and water for 240 h at 62.5 °C and 15 MPa, and CO2 adsorption tests, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction are performed to determine the volume and pore size distribution of the micropores, the types and contents of the organic groups, and the aromatic crystallite structures of the coal samples before and after the ScCO2-H2O treatment. The influence of the chemical structure and the organic groups of the coal on the coal micropores is then studied. Micropores with widths 0.46 nm are pores in the macromolecular structure of coal and are known as intermolecular pores, and their volumes are determined by the directional arrangement of aromatic crystallites and the aliphatic hydrocarbon chain length. The broken bonds caused by ScCO2 in high-volatile bituminous coal form new aliphatic or aromatic compounds via addition and polyaddition reactions. These processes increase the directional arrangement of aromatic crystallites, resulting in a decrease in the volume of micropores with widths >0.46 nm. As the coal rank increases, the aliphatic hydrocarbon chain length gives priority to the macromolecular structure of coal after the ScCO2 treatment, resulting in an increase in the volume of micropores with widths >0.46 nm in semi-anthracite and anthracite coal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-108
Number of pages13
Early online date7 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Aromatic crystallite
  • Coal rank
  • Organic group
  • Pore volume
  • Specific surface area
  • Swelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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