Hydrocarbon potential of Pennsylvanian coal in Bohai Gulf Basin, eastern China, as revealed by hydrous pyrolysis

Rongxi Li, Kuili Jin, Daniel J. Lehrmann, Shifeng Dai, Chen-Lin Chou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A hydrous-pyrolysis experiment was performed using Pennsylvanian brown coal with a vitrinite reflectance (VR 0) of 0.56% from a coal mine at the southwest corner of the Bohai Gulf Basin, eastern China, to evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of the coal. The coal sample is vitrinite-rich (74.5%) and inertinite-poor (16.7%) with liptinite content of 8.8%. Much of the vitrinite in the sample consists of hydrogen-rich vitrinite (collodetrinite). Hydrous pyrolysis was performed at 200 °C, 230 °C, 260 °C, 290 °C, 320 °C, and 350 °C for 72 h separately. Yields of both total liquid pyrolysates and expelled oil increased with temperature before reaching their maximum production of 17.27 kg/t coal and 14.57 kg/t coal at the same temperature of 320 °C (VR 0 = 1.18%), and decreased afterwards. Gaseous products increased sharply at 320 °C and tended to increase even at the highest experimental temperature (350 °C; VR 0 = 1.53%). Results show that the coal has not only a certain oil-generation potential but also a large capacity for gas production and a high expulsion efficiency. Oil potential of the coal is attributed to its depositional environment, which was transitional from shallow marine to coastal plain or swamp during middle to Late Pennsylvanian. The coal was protected from oxidation under water after deposition. Experimental results indicate that this Pennsylvanian coal could have contributed to oil/gas accumulation in the Bohai Gulf Basin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTSOP 2006: Papers from the 23rd Annual Meeting of TSOP
EditorsShifeng Dai, Chen-Lin Chou
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jan 7 2008
Event2006 Annual Meeting of the Society for Organic Petrology - Beijing, China
Duration: Sep 15 2006Sep 22 2006
Conference number: 23

Publication series

NameInternational Journal of Coal Geology
ISSN (Print)0166-5162


Conference2006 Annual Meeting of the Society for Organic Petrology
Abbreviated titleTSOP 2006


  • ISGS
  • Coal source rock
  • Bohai Gulf Basin
  • Collodetrinite
  • Pennsylvanian
  • Hydrocarbon generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economic Geology
  • Geology
  • Fuel Technology
  • Stratigraphy


Dive into the research topics of 'Hydrocarbon potential of Pennsylvanian coal in Bohai Gulf Basin, eastern China, as revealed by hydrous pyrolysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this