Red mud has been activated by dissolution in hydrochloric acid and reprecipitation with ammonia. The activated material has been evaluated as a catalyst for the hydrogenation of naphthalene, phenanthrene and pyrene and in the hydroliquefaction of both a high and low rank coal utilizing solvents of high and low hydrogen donating ability. Activation led to a substantial increase in the ability to hydrogenate the model compounds and a significant increase in oil yield was obtained in the hydroliquefaction of a low rank coal in the presence of a poor donor solvent. However, activation did not lead to significant increases in overall yields of liquids in other cases and the activated red mud was significantly less active than a commercial nickel-molybdenum-sulphur catalyst.
- aromatic compounds