Co-Oxidative Depolymerization of Coal

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Rosencrans, Renae
Chemistry; Physical Sciences and Mathematics
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In contrast to current coal conversion technology, cooxidative depolymerization of coal is a novel approach to coal liquefaction in that the reactions are carried out under relatively mild conditions. This free radical process utilizes air or oxygen and a suitable co-oxidant (solvent) which acts as a radical and hydrogen transfer agent throughout the coal matrix. Ideally, co-oxidation would lead to the formation of hydroperoxide groups at the reactive bridging sites in the coal matrix, which upon decomposition would lead to C-C bond scission. The effects of several variables on co-oxidation and subsequent post-treatment were investigated. Up to 49% conversion to DMF soluble products was achieved. Further enhancement of solubility is believed to be limited by the failure of hydroperoxide decomposition to lead to C-C bond scission.