Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


The principal process routes of coal liquefaction, through direct hydro-generation or synthesis, have been established for over sixty years, but the state of development has been determined, in the main, by economic or strategic considerations. Recognising the apparently inevitable demand for synthetic liquid fuels in the not too distant future, very substantial R&D programmes over the past two decades have been directed at improving direct coal liquefaction technology, taking account of the long lead times required for their implementation. The main objectives were to improve the overall efficiency, to facilitate scale-up of unit operations by up to a factor of 10 and to ensure minimum environmental impact. This review covers five principal sectors of these technological developments, surveying respectively synthesis processes (including those currently based on natural gas as feedstock, but which could be adapted for coal), single stage and two-stage direct hydrogenation processes, the coprocessing of coal with heavy oil fractions and catalysis applied to both direct liquefaction and coprocessing. An important aspect is the development of catalysts of higher activity and greater selectivity. It seems likely that cheap disposable catalysts, such as red mud, will remain the most economic option for the primary liquefaction stage but there is also interest in finely dispersed (aerosol) catalysts.

Additional information

Authors: ROMEY I, Bergbauforschung GmbH, Essen (DE);PAUL P F M, National Coal Board, Coal Research Establishment (GB);IMARISIO G, CEC, Bruxelles (BE)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 11191 EN (1987) 381 pp.
Availability: Available from Graham and Trotman Ltd., Sterling House, 66 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1DE (GB)
ISBN: ISBN 1-85333-103-1
Record Number: 198911250 / Last updated on: 1994-12-01
Original language: en
Available languages: en