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CARBONLETT, vol. 24, no. 1, pp.28-35, 2017

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5714/CL.2017.24.028

Catalytic hydrogenation-assisted preparation of melt spinnable pitches from petroleum residue for making mesophase pitch based carbon fibers

Dong Hun Lee1, Jisu Choi2, Young Se Oh2, Yoong Ahm Kim3,♠, Kap Seung Yang3,♠, Ho Jin Ryu4 and Yong Jung Kim5

Affiliation: 1Multi-Material Research Center, Korea Automotive Technology Institute, Gwangju 62207, Korea
2Chemical & Polymer Lab, R&D Center, GS Caltex Corporation, Daejeon 34122, Korea
3Department of Polymer Engineering, Graduate School, School of Polymer Science and Engineering & Alan G. MacDiarmid Energy Research Institute, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 61186, Korea
4Department of Nuclear & Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34141, Korea
5Research Institute of Industrial Science & Technology, Pohang 37673, Korea

Abstract: We demonstrated an effective way of preparing melt spinnable mesophase pitches via catalytic hydrogenation of petroleum residue (fluidized catalytic cracking-decant oil) and their subsequent thermal soaking. The mesophase pitches thus obtained were analyzed in terms of their viscosity, elemental composition, solubility, molecular weight, softening point and optical texture. We found that zeolite-induced catalytic hydrogenation under high hydrogen pressure contributed to a large variation in the properties of the pitches. As the hydrogen pressure increased, the C/H ratio decreased, and the solubility in n-hexane increased. The mesophase pitch with entirely anisotropic domains of flow texture exhibited good melt-spinnability. The mesophase carbon fibers obtained from the catalytically hydrogenated petroleum residue showed moderate mechanical properties.

Keyword: petroleum residue, hydrogenation, mesophase pitch, spinnability, carbon fiber