The pentane- and toluene-soluble fractions of a petroleum residue and three coal tars by size exclusion chromatography and UV-fluorescence spectroscopy

F. Karaca, M. Millan-Agorio, T. J. Morgan, I. D. Bull, A. A. Herod, R. Kandiyoti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A petroleum atmospheric pressure distillate residue and three tars derived from different coals using different severities of thermal treatment were separated into seven fractions using column chromatography on silica and sequential elution by the solvent sequence pentane, toluene, acetonitrile, pyridine, 1-methyl-2-pyrrolidinone (NMP) and water. The fractions from the four extractions have been compared using size exclusion chromatography (SEC) in NMP as eluent and by synchronous ultra-violet-fluorescence (UV-F). This paper concerns the pentane and toluene soluble fractions only since these are the least polar fractions. By SEC, the size of the aromatic molecules increased from the first pentane soluble fractions to the toluene-soluble fractions, with the petroleum residue fractions of larger size than the equivalent fractions from coal liquids. The three coal tars showed significant differences, indicating that temperature Of pyrolysis had a significant effect on the molecular size. Synchronous UV-F spectra of the four sets of fractions, in solution in NMP, again showed significant differences between the petroleum residue and the coal tars, as well as amongst the three coal tars. In general, the petroleum residue fractions contained smaller aromatic clusters than the coal liquid fractions. These low-polarity fractions contained material excluded from the column porosity in SEC that was unlikely to consist of aggregates of polar molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-137
Number of pages9
JournalOil & gas science and technology-Revue d ifp energies nouvelles
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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