Theoretical and experimental approach of fuel gas and carbon black production from coal tar pitch by thermal plasma process
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The processing of coal tar pitch (CTP) to produce clean fuel gas and carbon black (CB) is studied in a plasma reactor equipped with a direct-current plasma torch. The composition of the gas produced and energy costs were estimated theoretically for the CTP pyrolysis and gasification processes by two oxidants, namely oxygen and water vapor. We have found that the main gaseous compounds obtained in the pyrolysis and gasification processes are hydrogen (H2), carbon monoxide (CO), and very often carbon dioxide (CO2). For the pyrolysis case, the mean value of the synthesis gas concentration reaches a major value of 98 vol.% (H2–81 vol.%, CO–17. vol.%). However, only 23% of the initial CTP is transformed into gas phase at 1100 K and its content increases up to 37.4% at a temperature of 3000 K. For oxygen gasification, the syngas quantity is little less compared to the pyrolysis case and attains 96.6 vol.% (H2–26.5 vol.%, CO–70.1 vol.%) for T > 1100 K. An intermediate syngas content for the water steam gasification is 97.8 vol.% (with H2–55.8 vol.% and CO–42.0 vol.%). The CB produced was composed of well-defined spherical particles of 30-nm size. Furthermore, it is composed of carbon (98.2%), and followed by oxygen (1.8%) with a surface area of 97 m2 g−1. The thermal plasma system shows high efficiency in conversion of CTP into high-value-added products.