Research Article - Journal of Chemical Technology and Applications (2021) Volume 4, Issue 1
Resurrection of US coal using hydrothermal liquefaction
Since the 1900s, coal, a plentiful raw material in the United States and many other regions of the world, has been regarded a potential raw material for the manufacturing of coal oil. A variety of conversion techniques (e.g., Fischer???Tropsch synthesis, pyrolysis, or direct coal catalytic liquefaction) can be used to produce liquid fuels from coal, but one in particular, hydrothermal liquefaction, is particularly useful. Because of its low cost and ease of application, liquefaction (HTL), also known as hydrous pyrolysis, is appealing. Direct coal liquefaction necessitates the inclusion of hydrogen and costly catalysts, whereas the Fischer-Tropsch process is costly and loses a significant proportion of carbon as CO2. The use of subcritical liquid water in the absence of oxygen to artificially mature coal, kerogen, and biomass samples is known as hydrothermal liquefaction. Because the reaction medium is water, hydrothermal liquefaction does not need sample drying, saving time and money. Low molecular weight hydrocarbons, primarily alkanes, are produced in this method. The application of Hydrothermal Liquefaction concurrently to coal and biomass mixes will be examined in this research with the goal of producing largely carbon-neutral coal oil. With the usage of coal for electricity generation in the United States diminishing and job losses in numerous midwestern states, it is suggested to employ Hydrothermal Liquefaction to manufacture largely carbon-neutral coal oil from coal-waste biomass combinations. While there is an abundance of oil in the United States and refineries are at full capacity, coal oil produced in the United States may be shipped to Asia, which has coal but no oil or natural gas. This policy will allow the US to resurrect coal mining employment in the country, reduce the flow of middle-east oil to Asia, and balance the trade imbalance with nations like China. Furthermore, selling partially carbon-neutral oil to Asia will enable Asian countries to satisfy their carbon emission targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement. The technical specifics of hydrothermal liquefaction of various types of coal will be discussed in this study, as well as the economics of coal-oil production vs crude oil.
Author(s): Rakesh Govind,