Adsorption of carbon dioxide by different coal components

Nicola J. Wagner, Siboniwe Bhebhe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


South Africa is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol as a developing country, and in time may be required to meet certain CO2 emission reduction targets. Due to the country's reliance on coal as a major energy source and the large petrochemical industries, South Africa is amongst the world's high CO 2 emitters. Carbon dioxide sequestration into uneconomical coal seams has been proposed as a strategy for carbon dioxide emission reduction as coals have a high gas storage capacity. However, there is a lack of fundamental understanding as to the actual CO2 uptake and retention mechanisms by the various components in South African coals. Coal is a complex mixture of organic and inorganic components, and varies in composition across the country. Adsorption properties could be enhanced by understanding the CO2 uptake behaviour of different individual coal macerals, as porosity is related to maceral composition. Typically, vitrinite predominately contains micropores, and inertinite contains mesopores and macropores. Therefore the maceral and microlithotype composition plays a significant role in the porosity and gas transport properties related to CO2 sequestration. South African coals are typically rich in inertinite, differing from Northern Hemisphere coals, and consequently research results conducted on non-South African coals may not be applicable. The objective of the project is to determine the uptake of CO2 in a variety of South African coals with varying rank (bituminous coal versus semi-anthracite) and varying maceral composition (vitrinite-rich coal versus inertinite-rich coal, versus mineral-rich coal). Adsorption rate and amount of gas adsorbed will be determined, as well as any CMB release. As CO2 sequestration is likely to occur in deep coal seams, temperature and pressure could be additional variables.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication24th Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference 2007, PCC 2007
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event24th Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference 2007, PCC 2007 - Johannesburg, South Africa
Duration: 10 Sept 200714 Sept 2007

Publication series

Name24th Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference 2007, PCC 2007


Conference24th Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference 2007, PCC 2007
Country/TerritorySouth Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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