Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering


An investigation of the effects of staged heating on the liquefaction of lignite was conducted using 20 ml. microreactors heated in a fluidized sandbath. One gram of moisture-ash-free lignite, two grams of hydrogenated anthracene oil solvent and synthesis gas (carbon monoxide and hydrogen) at an initial pressure of 1200 psi were used in all runs. The net conversion and oil yields were studied as a function of time and temperature at each stage. The total reaction time was varied from 10 to 30 minutes and the reaction temperature from 350° to 460°C.

Oil yields and conversions ranged from -2.8 percent to 29.7 percent and 54.1 percent to 91.0 percent, respectively, increasing as the final temperature increased. There appeared to be no benefit to the low temperature stage in terms of either oil yields or conversion. Interrupting the heating by air cooling for 30 minutes had no significant effect on yields nor did continuous heating with an increasing temperature compared to staged heating. The standard deviation based on eleven duplicate runs was found to be ±1.49 percent and ±1.52 percent for conversion and oil yields, respectively.