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Title of Thesis

Biosolubilization And Biogasification Of Indigenous Low Rank Coal For Its Applications

Author(s)

Rizwan Haider

Institute/University/Department Details
Institute For Biotechnology / Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
Session
2014
Subject
Biotechnology
Number of Pages
230
Keywords (Extracted from title, table of contents and abstract of thesis)
Applications, Biosolubilization, Rank, Indigenous, Biogasification, Coal, Low

Abstract
Coal has been ensuring energy security and stability for a long period of time in terms of increasing exploitation and excavation of high rank coals, thus, leaving behind huge unattended low rank coal reserves.Furthermore, thermal systems were designed on the basis of physico-chemical properties of high rank coals.However, temporarily, low rank coals were abandoned as these had been found to be associated with high moisture contents and low calorific values, which posed their unsuitability for application in conventional thermal systems.The present study was aimed at investigating and exploring the prospects of possible intervention of biotechnological approaches into conventional fuel sciences for the extraction of alternative fuel options like methane and value added products such as humic acids.In this regard, fungal degradation of coal can serve as a pretreatment step in order to make coal a suitable substrate for biological beneficiation.Thirty one (31) coal samples, originating from eight coal areas of Pakistan and majority from Thar coal field, were subjected to detailed chemical analyses including maceral analysis and these indicated that geological stage of Thar coal, which might be susceptible to biological modification.A fungal strain MW1, identified as Penicillium chrysogenum on the basis of fungal ITS sequences, was isolated from a core sample of sub-bituminous coal and twelve (12) low rank coal samples were treated with this isolate for further studies. Liquid extracts were analyzed through Excitation-Emission Matrix Spectroscopy (EEMS) to obtain qualitative estimates of solubilized coal; these analyses exhibited the release of complex organic moieties.In addition, analysis of these extracts, based on Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), confirmed the presence of single ring aromatics, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), aromatic nitrogen compounds and some aliphatics. Subsequently, the released organics were subjected to a bioassay WBC-2, based on mixed bacterial consortium, containing methanogenic and non-methanogenic types, for the generation of methane, which conferred the potential application of fungal degradation as pretreatment.The native coal samples were also subjected to WBC-2 culture based bioassay fordetermining the methane generation.Upon incubation with WBC-2 culture under anaerobic conditions, methane was produced from Thar coal samples in the range of 3.7 to 23.2ƒÝmoles per gram of coal (2.13 to 16.33scf/ton of coal).The susceptibility of methane generation from Thar coal samples may also be considered as an indicative index of the possible presence of biogenic coalbed methane (CBM) in Thar coal seams. Vitrinite reflectance values for Thar coal samples, which were less than 0.4%, corresponded to biogenic hydrocarbon generation range.In addition, the residual coal after fungal pretreatment was processed for the extraction of humic acids from Pakistani brown coal. Extracted humic acid were analyzed on the basis of UV-Vis Spectroscopy for determining the E4/E6 ratio, which appeared to be in the range of 6 to 7.Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) showed typical intensified absorption bands related to aliphatic stretching (2917-3335cm-1) and C=O stretching of COOH and ketones (1607-1698cm-1).Conclusively, on the basis of present study and some of the previous reports, a laboratory model for biotransformation of coal into methane was proposed, which gave an insight of the underlying mechanisms operative in this conversion.This proposed model provided a route for comparing two types of initial biological degradation approaches i.e.bacterial and fungal.Besides, fungal mediated degradation may be prospected for extracting chemical entities like humic acids from brown coals with high huminite content as shown by petrographic studies.

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S. No. ChapterTitle of the ChaptersPageSize (KB)
10CONTENTSi
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21INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF LITERATURE

1.1 Low Rank Coal
1.2 Utilization Of Low Rank Coal
1.3 Structure Of Low Rank Coal
1.4 Macerals In Coal
1.5 Coal Conversion Technologies
1.6 Biological Transformation Of Low Rank Coal
1.7 coalbed Methane (cbm)
1.8 Microbial Communities Responsible For Deep Surface Coal Methanogenesis
1.9 Stimulation Of Biological Methane Generation From Coal
1.10 Scope Of Biological Beneficiation Of Low Rank Coals In Pakistan
1.11 objectives Of The Study

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32MATERIALS AND METHODS

2.1 Origin Of Coal Samples
2.2 Preparation Of Representative Coal Samples
2.3 Ultimate Analysis Of Coal Samples
2.4 Proximate Analysis Of Coal Samples
2.5 Maceral Analysis Of Coal Samples
2.6 Coal Classification
2.7 Fungal Isolation
2.8 Composition Of Malt Extract Agar (mea) Medium
2.9 Screening Of Fungal Isolates For Coal Degradation
2.10 Taxonomic Evaluation Of Fungal Isolates
2.11 Coal Degradation Experiments
2.12 analytical Investigations
2.13 Wbc-2 Based Bioassay
2.14 Humic Acid Extraction From Low Rank Coal
2.15 Analysis Of Humic Materials

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43RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

3.1 Geology Of The Coal Samples
3.2 Chemical Characterization Of The Coal Samples
3.3 Maceral Analysis Of The Coal Samples
3.4 Fungal Isolates
3.5 Fungal Pretreatment Of Coal Samples
3.6 Analytical Investigations Of Extracts
3.7 Methane Generation From Released Organics
3.8 Methane Generation From Native Coal Samples
3.9 Analysis Of Residual Filtrates Of Bioassay Experiments
3.10 Extraction Of Humic Acid From Low Rank Coal

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54GENERAL DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS153
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65REFERENCES AND APPENDICES162
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