Kinetics of thermal decomposition of benzene on lignite-derived char was investigated at 900 °C by applying a new method to continuously monitor the char surface activity. Benzene vapor was continuously forced to pass through a micro fixed bed of char with residence time as short as 7.6 ms, and then detected continuously by a flame-ionization detector. Results showed the presence of two different types of char surfaces; consumptive Type I surface and non-consumptive (sustainable) Type II surface. Type I surface of a partially CO2-gasified char had an capacity of carbon deposit from benzene over 20 wt%-char and an initial activity (represented by a first-order rate constant) as high as 160 s−1. Both of them decreased with increasing carbon deposit due to consumption of micropores accessible to benzene, and finally became zero leaving Type II surface that had a very stable activity with rate constant of 4 s−1. The chars without gasification had capacities of Type I surfaces smaller by two orders of magnitude than the partially gasified char, while the Type II surfaces had activities similar to that of the partially gasified char. It was found that Type II surface converted benzene into not only carbon deposit but also diaromatics and even greater aromatics. Composition of the greater aromatics was unknown because they were deposited onto the reactor wall immediately after passing through the char bed.
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