ISSN 0361-5219, Solid Fuel Chemistry, 2017, Vol. 51, No. 4, pp. 256–266. © Allerton Press, Inc., 2017.
Chromatographic Separation of Alkylated
Depolymerized Neyveli Lignite
J. Arul Leo Bastin
, N. Krishnamurthy
*, D. Madhavan
, P. Vallinayagam
, and A. Chellamani
Department of Chemistry, Mepco Schlenk Engineering College,
Sivakasi-626 005, India
Department of Chemical Engineering, Hanseo University,
Seosan 360-706, South Korea
Department of Chemistry, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University,
Tirunelveli 627 012, India
Received September 9, 2015
Abstract—The study of macromolecular structure of coal has been subjected to intense research. Neyveli lignite was
depolymerized using phenol and phosphotungstic acid and the resultant product was subsequently alkylated. The
t-butylated depolymerized lignite exhibited enhanced extractability in organic solvents. The t-butylated depolym-
erized lignite was fractionated into different components using column chromatography (CC). Three major com-
pounds were isolated and were characterized by FTIR,
H NMR and Mass spectral techniques.
Keywords: Alkylation, Chromatographic Separation, Depolymerization, Neyveli lignite
As lignite is a rich source of valuable chemicals, but
with complicated structures, attempting to isolate
compounds from the depolymerized and subsequently
alkylated lignite, could yield newer synthetic interest.
The success of this study can generate high level
research interest among industrial and academic
researchers. The isolated compounds can directly or
with little modifications be exploited for different
applications. Isolation of compounds from lignite
would also pave the way for studying the structural
aspects of lignite.
Our earlier studies on depolymerization  of
Neyveli lignite using phosphotungstic acid as a mild
acid catalyst produced a residue which was not suffi-
cient to understand the complete structure of Neyveli
lignite. An attempt has been made to use alkylation
method  to conduct an in-depth analysis to eluci-
date the structure of lignite. Alkylation was tried using
different alcohols as alkylating agents to produce t-
butylated depolymerized Neyveli lignite that offers
reduced interchain C–C interaction, which further
cleaves to smaller molecules without much structural
The article is published in the original.
Fig. 1. Liquid chromatogram of fraction-1.
0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5
MSD1 TIC.MS File (C:\MSD\SEp-2013\220913_1A09-41.21\1FD4701.D) MM-ES+APCL,Pos,Scan,Frag:30