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Title: Development of CFD-Based Simulation Tools for In-Situ Thermal Processing of Oil Shale/Sands

Development of CFD-Based Simulation Tools for In-Situ Thermal Processing of Oil Shale/Sands In our research, we are taking the novel approach of developing and applying high performance computing, computational fluid dynamics (CFD)-based simulation tools to a modified in-situ process for production of oil from oil shale. The simulation tools being developed capture the relevant physical processes and data from a large-scale system. The modified in-situ application is a pilot-scale heat transfer process inside Red Leaf Resources’ EcoShale capsule. We demonstrate the need to understand fluid flow behavior in the convective channels of the rubblized shale bed as convective heating greatly decreases the time required to heat the oil shale to the production temperature when compared with conductive heating alone. We have developed and implemented a geometry creation strategy for a representative section of the EcoShale capsule, developed a meshing approach to deal with the complicated geometry and produce a well-behaved mesh, analyzed the effects of boundary conditions on the simulation results, and devised a new operator splitting solution algorithm that reduces computational costs by taking advantage of the differing convective and conductive time scales occurring in the simulation. These simulation tools can be applied to a wide range of processes involving convective fluid flow heating in rubblized beds.
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:1053607
DOE Contract Number:FE0001243
Resource Type:Technical Report
Data Type:
Research Org:The University Of Utah
Sponsoring Org:USDOE
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 04 OIL SHALES AND TAR SANDS