The effect of coal particle size on pyrolysis and steam gasification

S. Hanson, J. W. Patrick, A. Walker

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


For future power generation from coal, one preferred option in the UK is the air-blown gasification cycle (ABGC). In this system coal particles sized up to 3mm, perhaps up to 6mm in a commercial plant, are pyrolysed and then gasified in air/steam in a spouted bed reactor. As this range of coal particle sizes is large it is of interest to investigate the importance of particle size for those two processes. In particular the relation between the coal and the char particle size distribution was investigated to assess the error involved in assuming the coal size distribution at the on-set of gasification. Different coal size fractions underwent different changes on pyrolysis. Smaller coal particles were more likely to produce char particles larger than themselves, larger coal particles had a greater tendency to fragment. However, for the sizes investigated in this study ranging from 0.5 to 2.8mm, the pyrolysis and gasification behaviour was found not to vary significantly with particle size. The coal size fractions showed similar char yields, irrespective of the different char size distributions resulting from pyrolysis. Testing the reactivity of the chars in air and CO2 did not reveal significant differences between size fractions of the char, nor did partial gasification in steam in the spouted bed reactor. From the work undertaken, it can be concluded that pyrolysis and gasification within the range of particle sizes investigated are relatively insensitive to particle size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-537
Number of pages7
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2002


  • Char
  • Coal
  • Gasification
  • Pyrolysis
  • Spouted beds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Organic Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of coal particle size on pyrolysis and steam gasification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this