A hydrotreated coal liquid produced by solvolytic liquefaction of a feed originally consisting of 66% petroleum asphalt and 34% coal liquid was characterized. The hydrotreatment was carried out over a CoMo catalyst in order to upgrade moderately and selectively the coal-derived fraction. The present process was found very effective to depolymerize rather selectively the coal-derived fraction, originally benzene insoluble, to be soluble in benzene in the dominant presence of petroleum asphalt, while 20% of the asphalt was converted to be distillable with α-methylnaphthalene (the hydrotreatment solvent). Structural analyse of the fractions before and after hydrotreatment were compared to reveal what kinds of chemical reactions had taken place during hydrotreatment. The major reactions of the coal derived fraction are hydrodeoxygenation and hydrodealkylation, both of which are effective for depolymerization. No significant hydrogenation on aromatic rings was observed. Hydrotreated liquid was further pyrolyzed to obtain oils and cokes of high quality.
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