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Abstract

Molecular masses up to 270 000 u have been observed during matrix-assisted laser desorption mass spectroscopy on a sample of bituminous coal; the major fraction of desorbed ions appeared between m/z values of 800 and 5000. Similar mass distributions have been found in a coal-liquefaction extract and a pyrolysis tar. The highest molecular masses identified in this work far exceed previously reported high molecular masses found in coal-derived products (12 000 u), which were also detected by laser-desorption mass spectrometry.