• M F Alexandre-Franco

      Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science

    • Carbonization and demineralization of coals: A study by means of FT–IR spectroscopy

      V Gómez-Serrano M C Fernández-González M L Rojas-Cervantes M F Alexandre-Franco A Macías-García

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      Coal basically consists of two parts-a crystalline, inorganic part, and an amorphous, organic part. Based on this, we intended to study the changes that occurred on the composition and on the chemical structure of coals after carbonization at 1000 or 900°C and demineralization treatments with hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids. For this, four coals of different categories (or levels) were chosen: semianthracite (A–O) and high volatile bituminous coal (B–O), which are high level coals, and lignite (Li–O) and leonardite (Le–O), these being low level coals. The coals were first analysed in terms of their proximate and elemental compositions and then carbonized and demineralized. Also, the starting coals and the prepared samples were examined by infrared spectroscopy. In addition, a study of the optimization of the application of this technique for only A–O was carried out. For A–O and B–O, the spectra recorded intense absorption bands that are ascribable to vibration modes in mineral components as quartz and aluminosilicates, such as kaolinite. For Li–O and Le–O, the spectra displayed some other bands as well, also quite intense, which have been assigned to bond vibrations in functional groups and structures of their organic part. The carbonization of the coals resulted in significant changes in their inorganic part as the content of quartz increased and the content of aluminosilicates decreased. In addition, the thermal decomposition of mineral carbonates occurred. The carbonization greatly affects the organic part of the coals, especially in Li–O and Le–O, as most functional groups and structures are not thermally stable under heating conditions. With regard to demineralization, HF is a more effective agent than HCl, achieving products with higher organic content. The mass losses are higher in Li–O and Le–O than in A–O and B–O. So, the infrared spectroscopy allows the analysis of both inorganic and organic parts of the coals and of their carbonization and demineralization products. These processes facilitate subsequent analysis of the inorganic and organic parts of coals by infrared spectroscopy. In the application of this technique, both the coal:KBr ratio and the thickness for the disks should be controlled, owing to the influence on the infrared absorption.

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