Importance of carbon active sites in the gasification of coal chars

Ljubiša R. Radović, Philip L. Walker, Robert G. Jenkins

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A demineralized lignite has been used in a fundamental study of the role of carbon active sites in coal char gasification. The chars were prepared in N2 under a wide variety of conditions of heating rate (10 K min-1 to 104 K s-1), temperature (975-1475 K) and residence time (0.3 s-1 h). Both pyrolysis residence time and temperature have a significant effect on the reactivity of chars in 0.1 MPa air, determined by isothermal thermogravimetric analysis. The chars were characterized in terms of their elemental composition, micropore volume, total and active surface area, and carbon crystallite size. Total surface area, calculated from C02 adsorption isotherms at 298 K, was found not to be a relevant reactivity normalization parameter. Oxygen chemisorption capacity at 375 K and 0.1 MPa air was found to be a valid index of char reactivity and, therefore, gives an indication, at least from a relative standpoint, of the concentration of carbon active sites in a char. The commonly observed deactivation of coal chars with increasing severity of pyrolysis conditions was correlated with their active surface areas. The importance of the concept of active sites in gasification reactions is illustrated for carbons of increasing purity and crystallinity including a Saran char, a graphitized carbon black and a spectroscopically pure natural graphite.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-856
Number of pages8
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1983

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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