Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Houser

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael McCarville

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Nagler

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The use of water at cuperctirical conditions to remove nitrogen from several nitrogen-containing compounds was studied with the purpose of exploring the use of supercritical water as a method of removing nitrogen from the extraction products of coal. Quinoline and isoquinolone were the primary model compounds used with benzonitrile and carbazole also being examined briefly. Reaction conditions varied in temperature (350-500°C), pressure (3500-5200 psi), and water density (0.170-.0.426g/cc). The major products formed by isoquinoline were benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and o-xylene as well as nonvolatile tar and char. Quinoline produced aniline and toluidine in addition to those obtained from isoquinoline. Most of the reacted nitrogen was converted to ammonia. The highest yield of total hydrocarbon formed from aromatic nitrogen compunds was 55 mole%, based on reactant consumed. An order of reactivity of benzonitrile isoquinoline quinoline catbazole was established. The position of the nitrogen relative to the homocyclic aromatic ring appeared to be a major factor affecting rectivity. The use of ZnCl2 as a catalyst was found to improve reactivity.