A Comprehensive Review of Characterization Methods for Metallurgical Coke Structures

Heng Zheng, Runsheng Xu, Jianliang Zhang, Oday Daghagheleh, Johannes Schenk, Chuanhui Li, Wei Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The structure of coke affects its reactivity and strength, which directly influences its performance in the blast furnace. This review divides coke structures into chemical structure, physical structure, and optical texture according to their relevant characteristics. The focuses of this review are the current characterization methods and research status of the coke structures. The chemical structures (element composition and functional group) can be characterized by elemental analysis, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy (Raman), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging technology (13C NMR). The physical structures (pore structure and micro-crystallite structure) can be characterized by image method, X-ray CT imaging technique, mercury intrusion method, nitrogen gas adsorption method, X-ray diffraction method (XRD), and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM). The optical textures are usually divided and counted by a polarizing microscope. In the end, this review provides an idea of the construction of a coke molecular structural model, based on the above characterization. With the coke model, the evolution principles of the coke can be calculated and simulated. Hence, the coke performance can be predicted and optimized
Original languageEnglish
Article number174
Number of pages24
Journal Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by K1-MET GmbH, metallurgical competence center. The research program of the K1-MET competence center is supported by COMET (Competence Center for Excellent Technologies), the Austrian program for competence centers. COMET is funded by the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation, and Technology, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, the provinces of Upper Austria, Tyrol, and Styria, and the Styrian Business Promotion Agency (SFG). In addition, the research work is partially financed by Montanuniversitaet Leoben. Zheng Heng greatly acknowledges the financial support from the program of China Scholarship Council (No.201908420284).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Characterization
  • Coke quality
  • Coke structures
  • Molecular model

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