Several de-ashing pretreatments of selected coals have been examined to establish simple and effective procedures to improve, in terms of anisotropic development, the co-carbonization behaviour of the coals with pitches. Refluxing pretreatments of the coals in 1N HCI containing methanol and in boiling water containing EDTA-2Na (EDTA-2Na/coal = 7/100 by weight) improve the co-carbonization behaviour of Witbank, Miller, Taiheiyo and Wandoan coals, all of which, in their original, untreated form, are modified in terms of anisotropic development only very slightly in co-carbonizations with A240 petroleum pitch. Pretreatment of coals of very low rank appears to be ineffective in co-carbonizations with A240; however, co-carbonization with hydrogenated A240 shows that the pretreatments are effective. Analyses and FT-i.r. spectroscopy of mineral matter suggest that improved behaviour due to the pretreatment is related to the removal of divalent cations and to the modification of the oxygen functionality of the coals.
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