A set of NaCl-loaded Loy Yang brown coal was pyrolysed in a thermogravimetric analyser between 600 and 900 °C. The char sample after pyrolysis was cooled down directly for in situ reactivity measurement with air. The results indicated that the volatilisation of Na during pyrolysis is an important reason for the existence of catalyst loading saturation level with Na as a catalyst in char because the char prepared at high temperature had a limited holding capacity for Na. Under the experimental conditions in this study, the char reactivity showed good linear correlation with the Na concentration in the reacting char. Peak pyrolysis temperature, affecting the release of Cl and distribution of Na in char, is an important factor governing the correlation between the char reactivity and Na concentration in char. The catalytic activity of Na is a result of the interaction between Na and char and thus is greatly dependent on the char/carbon structure. At high char conversion levels where the char structure is more inert and highly condensed, the catalytic activity of Na is reduced compared with its activity at low char conversion levels. The catalytic activity of Na depends on the structure of char.
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