Formation of mesophase spherules in low-Ql coal tar pitches and development of monolithic carbons therefrom
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Three coal tar pitches having different and low contents of primary quinoline insolubles (Ql) were subjected to a series of thermal treatments at a predetermined temperature for different periods of soaking. The development of mesophase, in terms of its size and content in the heat-treated pitches, was studied as a function of the soaking time and content of primary quinoline insolubles in the original pitches. Mesophase spherules, with an average size of about 5 μm, formed in one of the coal tar pitches were separated using solvent extraction employing a suitable tar oil. These spherules, also called “mesocarbon microbeads (MCMB)”, after being moulded into small rectangular plates, were carbonized at temperatures of 950 and 2700 °C to obtain fine textured monolithic carbons possessing apparent densities of 1.66 and 1.85 g cm−3, respectively, at these heat-treatment temperatures.
KeywordsPolymer Thermal Treatment Solvent Extraction Quinoline Rectangular Plate
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