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Title: Rates and Mechanisms of Oil Shale Pyrolysis: A Chemical Structure Approach

Three pristine Utah Green River oil shale samples were obtained and used for analysis by the combined research groups at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. Oil shale samples were first demineralized and the separated kerogen and extracted bitumen samples were then studied by a host of techniques including high resolution liquid-state carbon-13 NMR, solid-state magic angle sample spinning 13C NMR, GC/MS, FTIR, and pyrolysis. Bitumen was extracted from the shale using methanol/dichloromethane and analyzed using high resolution 13C NMR liquid state spectroscopy, showing carbon aromaticities of 7 to 11%. The three parent shales and the demineralized kerogens were each analyzed with solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy. Carbon aromaticity of the kerogen was 23-24%, with 10-12 aromatic carbons per cluster. Crushed samples of Green River oil shale and its kerogen extract were pyrolyzed at heating rates from 1 to 10 K/min at pressures of 1 and 40 bar and temperatures up to 1000°C. The transient pyrolysis data were fit with a first-order model and a Distributed Activation Energy Model (DAEM). The demineralized kerogen was pyrolyzed at 10 K/min in nitrogen at atmospheric pressure at temperatures up to 525°C, and the pyrolysis products (light gas, tar, and char) were analyzedmore » using 13C NMR, GC/MS, and FTIR. Details of the kerogen pyrolysis have been modeled by a modified version of the chemical percolation devolatilization (CPD) model that has been widely used to model coal combustion/pyrolysis. This refined CPD model has been successful in predicting the char, tar, and gas yields of the three shale samples during pyrolysis. This set of experiments and associated modeling represents the most sophisticated and complete analysis available for a given set of oil shale samples.« less
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The University Of Utah
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United States