Pyrolysis-gas chromatography (Py-g.c.) has been shown to be a useful technique for characterizing Victorian brown coal lithotypes. The pyrograms show marked changes in the predominance and distribution of specific molecular classes as a function of lithotype. Hydrogen-rich triterpenoid components are predominantly associated with the lighter lithotypes, whereas hydrogen-deficient phenolic components are more abundant in pyrolysates from the darker lithotypes. Carbon preference indices (CPIs) are >1 for the alkanes but <1 for the alkenes released by pyrolysis. All CPI values generally increase with darkening lithotype. Correlations of the components released with the maceral composition of the lithotypes have also been established. This information is used to establish some details of the mechanism of pyrolysis and the probable relative liquefaction behaviour of these lithotype samples.
- brown coal
- coal lithotypes
- instrumental methods of analysis