Green Chemistry: Modification of Coal as a Fuel for the Direct Carbon Fuel Cell

Coal, being the most economic world resource, is the first to be consumed by it. By 2030 its consumption is supposed to reach 30% of every fuel in use. Coal is fossil fuel formed under the ground without oxygen access from parts of ancient plants. Coal was the first of every underused fuel and it caused industrial revolution providing it with more modern technology. Coal is an organic matter which was slowly rotting under the effects of biologic and geologic processes. Direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC) “has a much higher efficiency and a lower emission as compared with conventional coal-fired power plants” (Xiang A). This fuel produces less greenhouse effects and “acid treatment of the coal enhanced its electrochemical reactivity due to an increase in oxygen-containing surface functional groups” (Xiang A).

In experiment section DCFC has been subjected to pyrolysis, acid washing, and air oxidation. During this work many results were achieved. For example, electrochemical reactivity of coal increased during acid treatment because of boosting of surface functional group which contains oxygen. As for pyrolisis treatment in argon, it resulted in reduce in its electrochemical reactivity because of number reduce of surface functional groups containing oxygen. As the result of the treatment indicated decrease, it’s recommended “that the coal fuel is pretreated at low temperature with an appropriate surface oxidation process to produce a carbon fuel for the DCFC. In addition, the ashes contained in coals may damage the electrodes and consume electrolytes” (Xiang H).

The research of the direct carbon fuel cell is necessary as it will produce higher productivity of the obtained fuel. Concerning research, as best results were indicated during acid treatment, it goes without saying that it should be held in this direction. “A higher surface area of coal may also be helpful, but much less important than surface chemistry” (Xiang A).

Works Cited

Xiang, Li, Zhu, Zhonghua, De Marco, Roland, Bradley, John, Dicks, Andrew. “Modification of Coal as a Fuel for the Direct Carbon Fuel Cell”. 2009. PDF file.