Desulfurizing Coal with Alkaline Solutions Containing Dissolved Oxygen
The extraction of pyritic sulfur from coal by leaching the comminuted material with hot aqueous solutions containing dissolved oxygen has been demonstrated in numerous laboratory experiments (1-6). Although acidic solutions have generally been used for such experiments, basic solutions appear to offer several important advantages. Thus Majima and Peters (7) showed that the rate of extraction of sulfur from relatively pure pyrite is much greater in basic solutions containing dissolved oxygen than in neutral solutions. Moreover it has been shown recently that basic solutions containing ammonium hydroxide and oxygen can extract a significant portion of the organic sulfur as well as most of the inorganic sulfur from coal at relatively moderate temperatures (e.g., 130°C) (4,5) whereas higher temperatures (150°-200°C) seem to be required with acidic solutions to remove organic sulfur (6). Furthermore some types of basic solutions are much less corrosive towards the common materials of construction than acidic solutions.
Reprinted (adapted) with permission from Coal Desulfurization Chapter 15, pp 182–197 DOI: 10.1021/bk-1977-0064.ch015. Copyright 1977 American Chemical Society.