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Energies 2018, 11(6), 1502; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11061502

Surface Properties and Pore Structure of Anthracite, Bituminous Coal and Lignite

1
State Key Laboratory of Coal Mine Disaster Dynamics and Control, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
2
Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization (CSIRO), Locked Bag 10, Clayton South VIC 3169, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sources)
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Abstract

Properties of coal surface and pore structure are important aspects to be investigated in coal preparation and utilization. In order to investigate the limits of different probe methods, a comprehensive approach was comparatively used to probe surface properties and pore structure of anthracite, bituminous coal and lignite. Surface morphology of the three coal samples was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Combining mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP), physisorption method with carbon dioxide (CO2) at 273 K and nitrogen (N2) at 77 K was used to quantify a broad pore size distribution of coals, while FT-IR and water vapor sorption methods were used to study the coal surface properties. The results show that wedge-shaped pores develop with the increase of coal rank due to compression effect. The determined specific surface area (SSA) and pore volume of N2 decrease with the increase of coal rank, while CO2 SSA and pore volume are of a kind of U-shaped function of coal rank. MIP results indicate that that the pore size of 10–100 nm accounted for 70.7–97.5% of the total volume in the macropore range. Comparison of different methods indicates that micropores cannot be fully covered by the standard probes. CO2 adsorption technique can only probe micropores in the range of 0.5 nm to 0.9 nm. Water vapor is not an effective probe to detect the micropores in coals, due to that the water clusters is mainly filled in mesopores and macropores. The results also show that both water vapor adsorption and FT-IR analysis can provide qualitative information of coal surface, rather than qualification of functional groups. View Full-Text
Keywords: pore structure; surface properties; coal rank; probe methods; adsorption pore structure; surface properties; coal rank; probe methods; adsorption
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Liu, Z.; Zhang, Z.; Choi, S.K.; Lu, Y. Surface Properties and Pore Structure of Anthracite, Bituminous Coal and Lignite. Energies 2018, 11, 1502.

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