CIESC Journal ›› 2015, Vol. 66 ›› Issue (8): 3210-3217.doi: 10.11949/j.issn.0438-1157.20150757

Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparison of pyrolysis performances of coal/coal tar/asphaltene in thermal plasmas

CHENG Yan, YAN Binhang, LI Tianyang, JIN Yong, CHENG Yi   

  1. Department of Chemical Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
  • Received:2015-06-01 Revised:2015-06-08 Online:2015-08-05
  • Supported by:

    supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (2012CB720301), the National Science and Technology Key Supporting Project (2013BAF08B04) and the PetroChina Innovation Foundation (2013D-5006-0508).


The chemical reaction engineering nowadays is facing the new challenge from the degraded feedstocks of heavy fossil resources and low-value intermediate chemical products. Thermal plasma technique operated at extreme conditions (e.g., ultra-high temperature) is proposed as a potential means to realize the clean and efficient conversion of materials that are difficult to be handled using the conventional technologies. This work aims to study the pyrolysis performances of representative coal, coal tar and asphaltene materials in thermal plasmas. Experimental investigations were carried out on a lab-scale device to evaluate the pyrolysis characteristics of the feedstocks. The results showed that higher conversion and acetylene yield than coal can be achieved by using coal tar and asphaltene as the feeds. A model to describe the material and energy balances was established based on thermodynamics and the thermal effects in the thermal plasma process. The simulations on 2 MW pilot-plant scales were performed to compare the pyrolysis performances of these feedstocks, and the material and energy flows for these system operated under the same conditions were presented. Furthermore, analysis of pyrolysis with mixed materials showed an improved performance when adding coal tar or asphaltene into the coal pyrolysis system. It is anticipated that this work would provide scientific basis for feedstock selection and feedstock blending in the applications of thermal plasma pyrolysis.

Key words: multiphase reactor, plasma, thermodynamics, hydrocarbons, acetylene

CLC Number: 

  • TQ536.9

[1] Martínez-Palou R, de Lourdes Mosqueira M, Zapata-Rendón B, Mar-Juárez E, Bernal-Huicochea C, de la Cruz Clavel-López J, Aburto J. Transportation of heavy and extra-heavy crude oil by pipeline: a review [J]. J. Petrol. Sci. Eng., 2011, 75 (3): 274-282.
[2] Cheng Y, Yan B, Cheng Y, Li T, Guo C Y. Experimental study on coal tar pyrolysis in thermal plasma [J]. Plasma. Chem. Plasma P., 2015, 35 (2): 401-413.
[3] Kokal S L, Sayegh S G. Asphaltenes: the cholesterol of petroleum[R]. Richardson, TX, United States: Society of Petroleum Engineers, 1995.
[4] Pfender E. Thermal plasma technology: where do we stand and where are we going? [J]. Plasma. Chem. Plasma P., 1999, 19 (1): 1-31.
[5] Cao T, Zhang H, Yan B, Cheng Y. High rate deposition of nanocrystalline silicon by thermal plasma enhanced CVD [J]. RSC Adv., 2013, 3 (43): 20157-20162.
[6] Yan B, Xu P, Guo C Y, Jin Y, Cheng Y. Experimental study on coal pyrolysis to acetylene in thermal plasma reactors [J]. Chem. Eng. J., 2012, 207: 109-116.
[7] Heberlein J, Murphy A B. Thermal plasma waste treatment [J]. J. Phys. D. Appl. Physics, 2008, 41 (5): 053001.
[8] Wu C, Chen J, Cheng Y. Thermodynamic analysis of coal pyrolysis to acetylene in hydrogen plasma reactor [J]. Fuel Process. Technol., 2010, 91 (8): 823-830.
[9] Gladisch H. How Huels makes acetylene by DC arc [J]. Hydrocarbon Process. Petrol. Refiner., 1962, 41: 159-164.
[10] Vursel F, Polak L. Plasma chemical processing//Venugopalan M. Reactions Under Plasma Conditions[C]. New York, 1971:311.
[11] Chen Honggang, Xie Kechang. Hydropyrolysis of light hydrocarbons in H2/Ar plasma jet [J]. Petrol. Sci. Technol., 2003, 21 (5/6): 709-717.
[12] Beiers H G, Baumann H, Bittner D, Klein J, Juntgen H. Pyrolysis of some gaseous and liquid hydrocarbons in hydrogen plasma [J]. Fuel, 1988, 67 (7): 1012-1016.
[13] Bond R L, Galbraith I F, Ladner W R, Mcconnell G I T. Production of acetylene from coal using a plasma jet [J]. Nature, 1963, 200 (491): 1313-1314.
[14] Nicholson R, Littlewood K. Plasma pyrolysis of coal [J]. Nature, 1972, 236 (5347): 397-400.
[15] Kushner L M. Plasma technology in acetylene production in the US//Cheremisinoff P N, Farah O G, Ouellette R. Radio Frequency/Radiation and Plasma Processing [C]. Lancaster: Technomic Publishing Inc., 1985:193-207.
[16] Patrick Jr A J, Gannon R E. 1 MW prototype arc reactor for processing coal to chemicals//Cheremisinoff P N, Farah O G, Ouellette R. Radio Frequency/Radiation and Plasma Processing[C]. Lancaster: Technomic Publishing Inc., 1985:144-154.
[17] Tian Y, Xie K, Zhu S, Fletcher T H. Simulation of coal pyrolysis in plasma jet by CPD model [J]. Energ. Fuel, 2001, 15 (6): 1354-1358.
[18] Xie Kechang (谢克昌). Coal Structure and Its Reactivity (煤的结构与反应性) [M]. Beijing: Science Press, 2002.
[19] Yan B, Cheng Y, Jin Y, Guo C Y. Analysis of particle heating and devolatilization during rapid coal pyrolysis in a thermal plasma reactor [J]. Fuel Process. Technol., 2012, 100: 1-10.
[20] Yan B, Xu P, Jin Y, Cheng Y. Understanding coal/hydrocarbons pyrolysis in thermal plasma reactors by thermodynamic analysis [J]. Chem. Eng. Sci., 2012, 84: 31-39.
[21] Yan B, Cheng Y, Jin Y. Cross-scale modeling and simulation of coal pyrolysis to acetylene in hydrogen plasma reactors [J]. AIChE J., 2013, 59 (6): 2119-2133.
[22] Cheng Yan (程炎), Yan Binhang (颜彬航), Li Tianyang (李天阳), Cheng Yi (程易). Process analysis of effluent hydrocarbon recycling for coal pyrolysis to acetylene in thermal plasma [J]. CIESC Journal (化工学报), 2015, 66 (6): 2227-2234.
[23] Zeng S M, Maeda T, Tokumitsu K, et al. Preparation of isotropic pitch precursors for general purpose carbon fibers (GPCF) by air blowing (Ⅱ): Air blowing of coal tar, hydrogenated coal tar, and petroleum pitches [J]. Carbon, 1993, 31 (3): 413-419.
[24] Watson A Y, Valberg P A. Carbon black and soot: two different substances [J]. AIHA J., 2001, 62 (2): 218-228.
[25] Li Xuan (李轩), Han Jiantao (韩建涛), Wu Changning (吴昌宁), Guo Yi (郭屹), Yan Binhang (颜彬航), Cheng Yi (程易). Coal tar pyrolysis to acetylene in thermal plasma [J]. CIESC Journal (化工学报), 2014, 65 (9): 3680-3686.
[26] Reynolds W C. The element potential method for chemical equilibrium analysis: implementation in the interactive program STANJAN [D]. Stanford: Stanford University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 1986.
[27] Yan B, Cheng Y, Cheng Y. Particle-scale modeling of coal devolatilization behaviors for coal pyrolysis in thermal plasma reactors [J]. AIChE J., 2014, 61 (3): 903-921.

[1] GENG Chen, GUO Yajun, FENG Song, BI Qincheng. Density measurements of endothermic hydrocarbon fuel using random temperature signal cross-correlation [J]. CIESC Journal, 2019, 70(1): 24-31.
[2] ZHU Yi, WANG Hao, CHEN Liping, GUO Zichao, HE Zhongqi, CHEN Wanghua. Calculate time to maximum rate under adiabatic condition by numerical calculation method [J]. CIESC Journal, 2019, 70(1): 379-387.
[3] ZHENG Lifang, WANG Zhaozhong, XIE Yajie, YUE Lina, WANG Li. Kinetic study on thermal decomposition of GFRP under γ irradiation [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(S1): 161-169.
[4] ZHU Litao, LUO Zhenghong. Application of magnetic resonance imaging to multiphase fluid hydrodynamics [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(9): 3765-3773.
[5] HU Yanjun, YU Fan, CHEN Jiang, YU Wenjing, LU Yanjun. Study on release of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during sewage sludge pyrolysis [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(8): 3662-3669.
[6] CUI Haichao, CHEN Xianhui, WANG Cheng, XIA Weidong. Contrastive analysis of exergy in carbon black process of plasma method and furnace method [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(7): 2815-2821.
[7] WANG Jiajun, LANG Zhongmin, YU Gewen, WU Gangqiang. Pool boiling heat transfer and prediction of CuO/H2O nanofluids [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(7): 2944-2955.
[8] CUI Xili, XING Huabin. Separation of light hydrocarbons with metal-organic frameworks [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(6): 2339-2352.
[9] LU Quanfang, YU Jie, YANG Cailing, LI Minrui. Degradation mechanism of Astrazon Pink FG solution by glow discharge electrolysis [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(6): 2664-2671.
[10] LIN Bingcheng, WANG Jun, HUANG Qunxing, CHI Yong. Products obtained from catalytic pyrolysis of oily sludge over ZSM-5 zeolite [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(6): 2681-2687.
[11] LIN Qi, WANG Shugang, WANG Jihong, SONG Shuanglin. Numerical simulation of constrained melting inside spherical capsule by lattice Boltzmann method [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(6): 2373-2379.
[12] MENG Zhaofeng, ZHANG Hua, QIN Yanbin, YANG Meng, LIANG Hao. Experimental study on R1234yf/R134a mixture as alternative to R134a in automobile air conditioner [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(6): 2396-2403.
[13] WANG Liying, JIANG Zhendong, XU Yong, CHEN Haohao, XIANG Sheng, GUO Xinyu, WU Xuemin. Adsorption properties of naphthalenesulfonate dispersant onto different crystal pyraclostrobin particle surfaces [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(6): 2540-2550.
[14] MIAO Peng, CHANG Guozhang, YAN Ximin, HU Xiude, GUO Qingjie. Experimental study on thermal demanding and preparation of aromatics of mixed pyrolysis of Nannochloropsis sp./walnut shell [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(5): 2137-2148.
[15] TAO Jun, ZHANG Jijun, MAO Xianhe, ZHAO Jianwei, ZHANG Dongliang, CAI Xinan. Thermodynamics analysis of in-container self-propagating high-temperature synthesis immobilization process using numerical simulation [J]. CIESC Journal, 2018, 69(5): 1846-1853.
Full text



No Suggested Reading articles found!