High temperature swelling of coal/tetralin mixtures in a high pressure microdilatometer

Semih Eser, Robert G. Jenkins, Guangquan Wei, Harold H. Schobert, Joseph T. Joseph

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6 Scopus citations


High pressure microdilatometer experiments were performed on a subbituminous (Wyodak) and a bituminous (Illinois no. 6) coal in helium and hydrogen atmospheres with and without added tetralin. Wyodak coal samples showed no swelling but contractions ranging between 24 and 40 vol% upon heating at 20 and 100 °C min- 1 under helium or hydrogen pressures between 150 and 1000 psig (~1.0-6.9 MPa). Under the same conditions, Illinois no. 6 coals displayed contractions (25-60 vol%) prior to swelling up to 117 vol%. Upon tetralin addition (at 35-190 wt% of the coal), Wyodak coal samples did not swell but showed an increasing contraction with increasing helium or hydrogen pressure due to a slight softening and fusion of the coal particles. In contrast, addition of tetralin at much lower concentrations (5-35 wt%) had a marked effect on the contraction and swelling behaviour of Illinois no. 6. A maximum swelling of 200 vol% was obtained at a tetralin addition of 30 wt%. The increased swelling results from more extensive softening and fusion of coal particles in the presence of tetralin. Both coals showed a decreasing char yield with increasing tetralin concentration. The substantially lower extent of interaction observed between Wyodak coal samples and tetralin compared to Illinois no. 6 coal can be attributed to the differences in pore structure and/or chemical constitution of the two coal samples. Examination of the resultant solids by optical microscopy revealed the microstructural changes produced by thermal treatment in dilatometer experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1455
Number of pages11
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


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