Pyrolysis of Coal

Coal is still used for a large percentage of heating and electricity generation in both Canada and the US mainly because of its abundance and high energy value. The problems associated with this is the release of excessive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere owing mainly to the high abundance of fixed carbon in coal; burning it to extract the energy liberates very large amounts of carbon dioxide.

Coal pyrolysis process rapidly heats the material to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen which breaks down the structure releasing the volatile matter contained within, this is quenched to form a liquid petroleum based oil.

The residuals can be treated to remove heavy metals and the char portion used as a fertilizer substitute or for the absorption of contaminants in the gas streams from power and industrial plants. These residuals were also observed to burn much cleaner then the raw untreated coal.

This tecnology provides a method to extract valuable energy found in coal yet preventing excessive releases of contaminants to the environment and providing a valuable bio-product which can be marketed.