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Understanding the Chemistry and Physics of Coal Structure (A Review)

Duane G. Levine, Richard H. Schlosberg and Bernard G. Silbernagel
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 79, No. 10, [Part 2: Physical Sciences] (May 15, 1982), pp. 3365-3370
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/12417
Page Count: 6
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Understanding the Chemistry and Physics of Coal Structure (A Review)
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Abstract

This article outlines our current understanding of the structure of coal in terms of both the chemical and physical bonding processes responsible for its structural integrity and the extensive network of pores that permeate the organic material. Information on the microscopic chemistry of coal and its relationship to coal's physical structure and reactivity is an essential component in the successful development of the next generation of coal conversion technologies. Although coal is an extremely complex and heterogeneous material, many of its fundamental properties can be determined by the coordinated efforts of organic and physical chemists, solid state physicists, and chemical engineers. The scientific questions that emerge from these efforts lie at the frontiers of chemistry and physics research. This review of research shows that we are entering a period in which the microscopic chemistry and physics of complicated materials such as coal can be understood. Although these are admittedly difficult problems, the combination of chemistry, characterization, and process studies provide a much deeper insight into coal's properties. This better knowledge of coal should make a significant long-term contribution to advanced coal conversion technology.

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