Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering


North Dakota lignite was made to swell with phenol and phenol- water solutions. Preliminary data were used to design a reactor (treater) of approximately 500 gram capacity. Twenty-nine runs were made using this treater with phenol concentrations from 0 to 100 percent phenol. The lignite was treated undried and of sizes from 0.065 to O.263 inches. Temperatures of treatment ranged from 69 to 106 degrees C. with run lengths from 3*2 to 10.4 hours.

The degree of swelling was evaluated by measuring the lignite before and after treatment in the following wayst height in the treater, volume, weight and particle size. Adsorption of metanil yellow dye was used as a measurement of the reactivity change between the untreated and treated lignite.

The lignite swelled and reactivity increased in all the phenol solutions. Results indicated that phenol concentration of 70 percent gave significantly more swelling and change in reactivity. Washing after treatment decreased the degree of swelling and reactivity with the reversal being slight at ambient temperatures and almost complete at 100 degrees C.

The degree of liquefaction in a high pressure autoclave was used to measure the effect of phenol treatment on solvent hydrogenation of the lignite. Net liquid yield did not improve but the percent of light oils changed significantly.