Mechanism of the hydropyrolysis of Manvers coal
Manvers coal has been pyrolysed to 500ºC in a stirred autoclave under various pressures of nitrogen (pyrolysis) and hydrogen (hydropyrolysis). All products were investigated. Pyrolysis of coals involves the transfer of hydrogen atoms from one part of their structure to another. In the above experiments there was no way of labelling the hydrogen or of distinguishing between hydrogen which was initially part of the coal and hydrogen originating in the external atmosphere. Consequently, Manvers coal has been pyrolysed in an atmosphere of deuterium in order to obtain greater insight into the mechanism of hydropyrolysis. In particular it was hoped to distinguish between direct hydrogenation (deuteration!) of the coal and the products of pyrolysis and the 'shuttling' of hydrogen atoms between different parts of the pyrolysing coal. The addition to the coal of 5% (wt.% of coal) of either tetralin or pyrite was also studied. A variety of techniques were used to analyse the products of pyrolysis: gas chromatography - mass spectrometry and high performance liquid chromatography for tars; thermal conductivity gas chromatography and high resolution mass spectrometry for gases; methanol densities, microporosities and diffuse reflectance infra red spectroscopy for the cokes (chars); refractive index to determine deuterium in the liquor. An attempt has been made to apply basic thermodynamics to reactions which are likely to occur in the hydropyrolysis of coals. Diffusion and effusion rates for hydrogen and tar molecules have also been estimated.