Release of volatiles from the pyrolysis of a Victorian lignite at elevated pressures

Chirag Sathe, Jun Ichiro Hayashi, Chun Zhu Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


A Loy Yang lignite sample was pyrolysed in a wire-mesh reactor at pressures from 1 to 61 bar. The char yield did not show considerable sensitivity to changes in pressure or heating rate and was mainly a function of temperature. However, the tar yield was sensitive to changes in pressure, holding time and heating rate. The tar yield at 1000 K s-1 showed a minimum at around 6-11 bar. The tar yield at 1 K s-1 increased slightly with increasing pressure from 1 to 20 bar. The UV-fluorescence spectroscopy of the tar samples indicated that the release of larger (three or more fused rings) aromatic ring systems was also greatly affected by increases in pressure. It is believed that increases in pressure have slowed down the bulk diffusion within meso- and macro-pores in the pyrolysing lignite/char particles. During the extended stay within the char particle, volatile precursors were thermally cracked to form mainly gaseous species as well as very small amounts of char. At very high pressures where the diffusion was very slow, the formation of light gases caused the pressure to build up within the particles, inducing the forced flow of volatile precursors out of the particles and leading to increased tar yield.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1171-1178
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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