Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Chemical Engineering


An investigation into the distribution of the five elements aluminum, chlorine, magnesium, manganese, and sodium was performed on the Project Lignite Coal Liquefaction Process Development Unit (PDU). Determinations of the concentrations of these elements in major flow streams were accomplished by both Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA) and Atomic Absorption (AA) methods of analysis. Element concentrations and process streams flow rate data were used to calculate element material balances for each element analyzed on four different process runs.

Concluded from the results was that reasonable elemental balances were obtained for most of the elements by analyzing the major flow streams. This was shown by ten of sixteen element balances showing recoveries near 100 percent. Also, results from the NAA technique compared favorably with results from AA analysis of identical or similar samples. The results further indicated that the elements aluminum, magnesium, manganese, and sodium flowed with the inorganic mineral or ash portions of the PDU processing streams, while chlorine followed the organic solvent portions of the processing streams. The results also showed that the general flow of the elements investigated and reasonable material balances by using the NAA analytical technique on only major process streams are similar to results from similar experimentation of element flow performed on the Solvent Refined Coal process and Synthoil process. The last conclusion was that laboratory deashing gave comparable results pertaining to the flow of elements as when the PDU was operated in the deashing mode.