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Applications of Micellar Enzymology to Clean Coal Technology. Ninth Quarterly Report
This project is designed to develop methods for pre-combustion coal remediation by implementing recent advances in enzyme biochemistry. The novel approach of this study is incorporation of hydrophilic oxidative enzymes in reverse micelles in an organic solvent. Enzymes from commercial sources or microbial extracts are being investigated for their capacity to remove organic sulfur from coal by oxidation of the sulfur groups, splitting of C-S bonds and loss of sulfur as sulfuric acid. Dibenzothiophene (DBT) and ethylphenylsulfide (EPS) are serving as models or organic sulfur-containing components of coal in initial studies. A goal of this project is to define a reverse micelle system that optimizes the catalytic activity of enzymes toward desulfurization of model compounds and ultimately coal samples. Among the variables which will be examined are the surfactant, the solvent, the water:surfactant ratio and the pH and ionic strength of the aqueous phase.