A novel process for the production of aromatic hydrocarbons from brown coal in water medium by hydrothermal oxidation and catalytic hydrothermal decarboxylation

Qingxin Zheng, Masato Morimoto, Toshimasa Takanohashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

With no use of hydrogen or a hydrogen donor, a novel process is proposed for the production of aromatic hydrocarbons from brown coal in water medium, which consists of hydrothermal oxidation at 240 °C and Cu2O-catalysed hydrothermal decarboxylation at 350 °C. Using this hydrothermal oxidation and catalytic hydrothermal decarboxylation method, aromatic carboxylic acids were formed from brown coal by an oxidation process, and then decarboxylated to the corresponding aromatic hydrocarbons. The validity of the decarboxylation method was examined using several aromatic carboxylic acids as model compounds for the acid products after hydrothermal oxidation of brown coal, including o-phthalic acid, isophthalic acid, terephthalic acid, hemimellitic acid, trimellitic acid, trimesic acid, 1-naphthoic acid, 2-naphthoic acid, and 2,6-naphthalic acid. Use of Cu2O catalyst increased the decarboxylation yields of all the aromatic carboxylic acids. Especially for benzene carboxylic acids, all decarboxylation yields were above 90% with 100% selectivity. The Cu2O-catalysed hydrothermal method was proven to be effective, not only for the decarboxylation reactions from monocarboxylic acids to hydrocarbons, but also for the decarboxylation reactions from tricarboxylic acids to dicarboxylic acids and from dicarboxylic acids to monocarboxylic acids. In the presence of alkali and oxygen during the oxidation process, various valuable aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic compounds, especially benzene, were obtained from Loy Yang coal using the hydrothermal oxidation and catalytic decarboxylation process. Based on analyses of aromatic carboxylic acids or ions before and after the decarboxylation process, it was found that decarboxylation reactions were the major reactions and the use of Cu2O was effective not only for the decarboxylation from monocarboxylic acids but also from polycarboxylic acids to monocarboxylic acids, consistent with the results for the model aromatic carboxylic acids. Additionally, it was found that a Cu2O catalyst was also effective for the conversion of 'heavy' compounds in oxidised coal to 'light' compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-445
Number of pages9
JournalFuel
Volume182
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 15
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Brown coal
  • CuO
  • Hydrothermal decarboxylation
  • Hydrothermal oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'A novel process for the production of aromatic hydrocarbons from brown coal in water medium by hydrothermal oxidation and catalytic hydrothermal decarboxylation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this