Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

John Riley, John Reasoner, Laurence Boucher, Dennis Finseth

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science


The oxidative instability of coal liquids is a possible problem for the utilization of these alternate fuels. Past experience with both petroleum and coal-derived distillates indicates that heteroatomic species are intimately involved in such degradation. However, the exact nature of the chemistry is, in many cases, unclear. The goal of this work is to study the role of phenols in the chemistry of oxidative degradation of naphthas from a variety of current conversion processes. The effects of exposure to oxygen, metal surfaces, and metal salts have been investigated in order to identify the major routes leading to gum formation.

Coal-derived naphthas were aged under 02 and N2 as received and in contact with copper or cuprous chloride at various temperatures. The rate of 02 consumption was measured manometrically, and compositional changes were monitored via infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance, and mass spectrometry. The observed rates of 02 consumption, catalytic effects, and compositional changes were analyzed to identify the major chemical reactions responsible for precipitate formation.


Chemistry | Physical Sciences and Mathematics

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