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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


TANG, Y.-B. et al. Effect of inorganic chloride on spontaneous combustion of coal. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2015, vol.115, n.2, pp.87-92. ISSN 2411-9717.

Chlorine-containing minerals are commonly present in coal. Associated minerals such as pyrite can undergo exothermic reactions. Consequently, it is of great significance to study the effect of inorganic chloride on the spontaneous combustion of coal. In this study, the effects of five inorganic chlorides (sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, and zinc chloride) on the spontaneous oxidation of coal were investigated. Analysis of the gaseous products of coal oxidization at low temperatures (323K to 453K) showed that the presence of inorganic chlorine in coal markedly decreases O2 consumption and the generation of CO and CO2. Samples of raw coal and chlorine-loaded coal were oxidized for 36 hours under the same experimental conditions. Infrared diffuse reflectance spectroscopy results showed that inorganic chloride can inhibit the oxidative decomposition of some functional structure components (methyl, methylene, methine, and hydroxy) in the coal. The influence of inorganic chloride on the oxidation characteristics of the functional groups in coal during spontaneous combustion was investigated using benzyl alcohol and 1-phenyl propanol as model compounds, which were tested under the same experimental conditions as the coal samples. The oxygen consumption of model compounds with and without the addition of inorganic chloride further suggested that inorganic chloride may hinder the oxygenolysis of these structures during low-temperature oxidation. This phenomenon can be attributed to the radical reaction from the perspective of radical chemistry. It can therefore be concluded that inorganic chlorides play an inhibitory role in the spontaneous combustion of coal.

Keywords : coal; spontaneous combustion; inorganic chloride; gaseous products; model compounds; FTIR.

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