Zhuangjie Li

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Thomas Houser

Second Advisor

Dr. George Lowry

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael E. McCarville

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


One function which coal processing can perform is the removal of heteroatoms to yield a less polluting product. The removal of nitrogen atoms from the model compounds quinoline and aniline, which are believed to be representative of the nitrogen functional groups found in coal, was studied using supercritical water (SW) as the fluid. Water at these conditions serves as a reactant, helping to promote the rupture of the heterocyclic ring and in the removal of nitrogen attached to an aromatic ring. Heterocyclic ring rupture leads to the formation of several methylated products, methyl and dimethyl anilines, phenols and quinolines. The other volatile major products were aniline and phenol; in addition, small amounts of several aromatic hydrocarbons were found. The kinetics of the quinoline-SW reaction were examined in the temperature range of 400-500 C , using ZnCl2 as a catalyst. With a constant loading of 0.2 g ZnCl2 it was found that the reaction rate could be represented by an equation 1st-order in quinoline but including a constant that was proportional to the catalyst loading. The Arrhenius parameters for the apparent 1st-order constant are log A (sec-1 ) = 3.5 and E = 27.0 kcal/mole. The mechanistic implications of the data are discussed.

Included in

Chemistry Commons