The extent of convertibility of the pyrolytically derived solvent refined coal (SRC) by upgrading over supported nickel-molybdenum catalysts was studied. Hydrocracking of some related PAH over the same catalysts was also carried out for assessing reactions occurring during the upgrading process. The use of aNiMo catalyst and the corresponding S-NiMo catalyst improved the conversion of preasphaltene and asphaltene to oil and light distillates, increased the consumption of H2 and decreased the net hydrogen transfer from tetralin. NiMo and S-NiMo significantly promoted hydrocracking reactions of phenanthrene and anthracene, whereas in the absence of catalyst, a very limited amount of phenanthrene was converted and anthracene was mainly converted into dihydroanthracene. In the reaction of bibenzyl, S-NiMo and NiMo also promoted conversion of the reactant to l-cyclohexyl-2-phenylethane and 1,2-dicyclohexylethane, but the yields of hydrocracked products, e.g., benzene, toluene, and ethylbenzene, were only slightly higher than those of a noncatalytic run.
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