Iron/sulfur-catalyzed coal liquefaction in the presence of alcohol and carbon monoxide

Kazu Aki Hata, Nori Aki Kawasaki, Naokatsu Fuji, Yasunobu Nakagawa, Hayashi Jun-Ichiro, Yoshihisa Watanabe, Kenji Wada, Take Aki Mitsudo

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2 Citations (Scopus)


The activities of several iron-based catalyst precursors towards the liquefaction of various kinds of coals, ranging from brown to bituminous, were examined in alcohol-carbon monoxide systems. Pentacarbonyliron (Fe(CO)5) with or without sulfur, or synthetic pyrite were found to be excellent catalyst precursors. Primary alcohols (ethanol and 1-propanol)-CO acted as an effective hydrogen source, whereas branched alcohols were less effective. In the Fe(CO)5/sulfur catalyzed liquefaction of Yallourn coal at 375°C for 120 min, a high conversion (99.5%) was achieved in the presence of ethanol and CO (7.0 MPa/cold). The two-staged reaction (375°C, 60 min + 425°C, 60 min) further improved the oil yield to 59.1% with a slight decrease in the coal conversion. The uptake of alcohol into asphaltene and preasphaltene fractions was distinctly observed, especially for Illinois No. 6 coal. The infrared analyses of the asphaltene fractions from each coal showed absorption at around 1705 cm-1, characteristic for those obtained in the linear alcohol-CO systems. According to the characterization of the products by NMR and the preliminary study using a model compound, alkylation as well as the hydrogenolysis seem to contribute to the dissolution of coals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-267
Number of pages13
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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    Hata, K. A., Kawasaki, N. A., Fuji, N., Nakagawa, Y., Jun-Ichiro, H., Watanabe, Y., Wada, K., & Mitsudo, T. A. (1998). Iron/sulfur-catalyzed coal liquefaction in the presence of alcohol and carbon monoxide. Fuel Processing Technology, 53(3), 255-267.