The catalytic activity of pyrite ore from coal mining was studied in the direct liquefaction process of high volatile
bituminous coal from the south of Brazil. The process consisted of mixing pulverized coal with tetralin in the presence
of catalyst. It was possible to obtain fractions of preasphaltenes, asphaltenes, and oils. Pressure had little influence on the
direct coal liquefaction process, while temperature had a strong effect on liquefaction yields. The results of total conversions
obtained were nearly 16 % at 300 °C, 26.5 % at 350 °C and 38.5 % at 380 °C, in spite of high inertinite-group maceral
content (34 vol.%). The pyrite ore catalyst had a fundamental role in this reaction, leading to thermal cracking of the
coal structure and hydrogenation of the fragments. However, the most significant result related to catalyst presence was
the increase in selectivity of the oil fraction.
Keywords: Conversion, direct coal liquefaction, pyrite, selectivity.
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