Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor



This thesis presents the results of the investigation on developing and evaluating a low temperature (<150oC) non - catalytic process using a hydrogen transfer agent (instead of molecu-lar hydrogen) for coal dissolution in supercritical CO2. The main idea behind the thesis was that one hydrogen atom from water and one hydrogen atom from the hydrogen transfer agent (HTA) were used to hydrogenate the coal. The products of coal dissolution were non-polar and polar while the supercritical CO2, which enhanced the rates of hydrogenation and dissolution of the non-polar molecules and removal from the reaction site, was non-polar. The polar modifier (PM) for CO2 was added to the freed to aid in the dissolution and removal of the polar components. The addition of a phase transfer agent (PTA) allowed a seamless transport of the ions and by-product between the aqueous and organic phases. DDAB, used as the PTA, is an effective phase transfer catalyst and showed enhancement to the coal dissolution process. COAL + DH- +H2O  COAL.H2 + DHO-- This process has a great feature due to the fact that the chemicals were obtained without requir-ing to first convert coal to CO and H2 units as in indirect coal liquefaction. The experiments were conducted in a unique reactor set up that can be connected through two lines. one line to feed the reactor with supercritical CO2 and the other connected to gas chromatograph. The use of the supercritical CO2 enhanced the solvent option due to the chemical extraction, in addition to the low environmental impact and energy cost. In this thesis the experiment were conducted at five different temperatures from atmos-pheric to 140°C, 3000 - 6000 psi with five component of feed mixture, namely water, HTA, PTA, coal, and PM in semi batch vessels reactor system with a volume of 100 mL. The results show that the chemicals were obtained without requiring to first convert coal to CO and H2 units as in indirect coal liquefaction. The results show that the conversion was found to be 91.8% at opti-mum feed mixtures values of 3, 1.0 and 5.4 for water: PM, HTA: coal, water: coal respectively. With the oil price increase and growing in energy demand, the coal liquefaction remain afforda-ble and available energy alternative.




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