The origin of aliphatic hydrocarbons in brown coal liquefaction: Reactions of a model acid, alcohol and ester

Geoffrey D. Bongers, Caroline E. Burgess, John S.T. Chan, W. Roy Jackson, Antonio F. Patti, Marc Marshall

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A model long-chain alcohol (n-C22), carboxylic acid (n-C20) and ester (n-C20 + n-C22) have been reacted under coal liquefaction conditions at 320 and 405°C with both hydrogen and carbon monoxide-water as reducing systems. The products of these reactions were characterized by g.c., g.c.-m.s. and mass spectroscopy. In addition to materials with the same carbon number as the starting compounds, lower-molecular-weight materials arising from fragmentation and higher-molecular-weight compounds arising from radical recombination reactions were detected. Reactions with CO-H2O gave different product distributions from reactions with H2-SnO2 and H2-tetralin, and these differences have been correlated with differences observed in reactions of low-rank coals. Reactions of eicosanoic (C20) acid with hydrogen at temperatures from 320 to 415°C showed an unexpected formation of the ester CH3(CH2)18CO2(CH2) 19CH3, especially for H2-SnO2 reactions at 365°C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-596
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Coal liquefaction
  • Long-chain esters
  • Model compounds

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