Fluidized bed reactor technology was investigated as a means of developing a new simple and low cost process for coal desulfurization. Preliminary experimental results obtained in a 2.54 cm batch fluidized bed reactor have shown that over 80% total sulfur reductions can be achieved by sequential chlorination and dechlorination/hydrodesulfurization of high sulfur pulverized coals. Proximate and ultimate analyses of desulfurized coals have revealed enhanced carbon and fixed carbon levels and substantially reduced volatile, oxygen and hydrogen contents. While there was a minor increase in the ash content and heating value, nitrogen and chlorine contents were essentially unchanged.
Compared to an earlier slurry phase process, the fluidized bed reactors process has specific advantages such as shorter reaction times, fewer processing steps and reduced reactant requirements. A fluidized bed reactor process may thus have a potential of being developed into a simple and economic means of converting high sulfur coals to environmentally acceptable fuels.