Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XJ, Scotland, UK
Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), temperature programmed desorption mass spectrometry (TPD-MS) and small angle neutron scattering (SANS) were used to investigate CO2 uptake by the Wyodak coal. Adsorption of carbon dioxide on Wyodak coal was studied by DSC. The exotherms evident at low temperatures are associated with the uptake of CO2 suggesting that carbon dioxide interacts strongly with the coal surface. Reduction in the value of the exotherms between the first and second runs for the Wyodak coal suggests that some CO2 is irreversibly bound to the structure even after heating to 200 °C. DSC results also showed that adsorption of CO2 on the coal surface is an activated process and presumably at the temperature of the exotherms there is enough thermal energy to overcome the activation energy for adsorption. The adsorption process is instantly pursued by much slower diffusion of the gas molecules into the coal matrix (absorption). Structural rearrangement in coal by CO2 is examined by change in the glass transition temperature of coal after CO2 uptake at different pressures. The amount of gas dissolved in the coal increases with increasing CO2 pressure. TPD-MS showed that CO2 desorption from the Wyodak coal follows a first order kinetic model. Increase in the activation energy for desorption with pre-adsorbed CO2 pressure suggests that higher pressures facilitate the transport of CO2 molecules through the barriers therefore the amount of CO2 uptake by the coal is greater at higher pressures and more attempts are required to desorb CO2 molecules sorbed at elevated pressures. These conclusions were further confirmed by examining the Wyodak coal structure in high pressure CO2 by SANS.