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Title: Comparison of the Acceptability of Various Oil Shale Processes

Abstract

While oil shale has the potential to provide a substantial fraction of our nation's liquid fuels for many decades, cost and environmental acceptability are significant issues to be addressed. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) examined a variety of oil shale processes between the mid 1960s and the mid 1990s, starting with retorting of rubble chimneys created from nuclear explosions [1] and ending with in-situ retorting of deep, large volumes of oil shale [2]. In between, it examined modified-in-situ combustion retorting of rubble blocks created by conventional mining and blasting [3,4], in-situ retorting by radio-frequency energy [5], aboveground combustion retorting [6], and aboveground processing by hot-solids recycle (HRS) [7,8]. This paper reviews various types of processes in both generic and specific forms and outlines some of the tradeoffs for large-scale development activities. Particular attention is given to hot-recycled-solids processes that maximize yield and minimize oil shale residence time during processing and true in-situ processes that generate oil over several years that is more similar to natural petroleum.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
889979
Report Number(s):
UCRL-CONF-219767
TRN: US200620%%182
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Presented at: AICHE 2006 Spring National Meeting, Orlando, FL, United States, Mar 23 - Mar 27, 2006
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; 04 OIL SHALES AND TAR SANDS; 10 SYNTHETIC FUELS; 45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; CHIMNEYS; COMBUSTION; EXPLOSIVE FRACTURING; IN-SITU RETORTING; LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY; LIQUID FUELS; MINING; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS; OIL SHALES; PETROLEUM; PROCESSING; RETORTING

Citation Formats

Burnham, A K, and McConaghy, J R. Comparison of the Acceptability of Various Oil Shale Processes. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
Burnham, A K, & McConaghy, J R. Comparison of the Acceptability of Various Oil Shale Processes. United States.
Burnham, A K, and McConaghy, J R. Sat . "Comparison of the Acceptability of Various Oil Shale Processes". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/889979.
@article{osti_889979,
title = {Comparison of the Acceptability of Various Oil Shale Processes},
author = {Burnham, A K and McConaghy, J R},
abstractNote = {While oil shale has the potential to provide a substantial fraction of our nation's liquid fuels for many decades, cost and environmental acceptability are significant issues to be addressed. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) examined a variety of oil shale processes between the mid 1960s and the mid 1990s, starting with retorting of rubble chimneys created from nuclear explosions [1] and ending with in-situ retorting of deep, large volumes of oil shale [2]. In between, it examined modified-in-situ combustion retorting of rubble blocks created by conventional mining and blasting [3,4], in-situ retorting by radio-frequency energy [5], aboveground combustion retorting [6], and aboveground processing by hot-solids recycle (HRS) [7,8]. This paper reviews various types of processes in both generic and specific forms and outlines some of the tradeoffs for large-scale development activities. Particular attention is given to hot-recycled-solids processes that maximize yield and minimize oil shale residence time during processing and true in-situ processes that generate oil over several years that is more similar to natural petroleum.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Mar 11 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sat Mar 11 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

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  • The projected formidable amounts of carbonaceous solid waste from potential future commercial oil shale operations are of great interest because of the potential chronic environmental impact due to trace quantities of polycondensed aromatic compounds and possible carcinogenic and mutagenic compounds present. The objectives of the research reported were: (a) to determine experimentally the presence or absence of such compounds from the shale waste and process water to vegetation, groundwater and runoff water, (b) the solubilization of these organic materials by the presence of water soluble inorganic salts and their transport into ground and surface water. The results show that PCAmore » and carcinogen type compounds were identified qualitatively and quantitatively in carbonaceous spent shale. These results are compared with similar or identical compounds found in pristine environment of the oil shale land designated to become leased for oil shale exploration and dumping of shale ash. The potential environmental impact of these compounds is discussed.« less
  • The current status of oil-shale conversion process is summarized. Above-ground processes discussed are: Tosco-II Paraho (1) and (2), Union Oil, (Rock Pump, SGR, and No. 3), Superior Oil, Gas Combustion, Hydrogasification, Petrosix, Lurgi-Ruhrgas, Galoter, and Kiviter. In-situ processes are: Oxy Modified In-Situ (Garrett), Rubble In-Situ Extraction (RISE), LERC, and Dow. Emphasis is placed on the Hydrogasification Process. It is pointed out that prehydrogenation of oil shale entering during the heat--up period prior to retorting leads to significantly improved conversion of kerogen to both liquids and gaseous products. It also minimizes the formation of coke within the shale itself. (JGB)
  • As part of a larger Colorado Energy Research Institute study of western-based fossil fuel production systems, a net energy analysis of oil shale was conducted. Complete energy characteristics (unrecovered resource, process losses, and ''imports'' from other energy-producing systems) for oil shale systems producing liquid fuel and electricity were examined in detail. The methodology of net energy analysis is summarized, the results for three oil shale processes are presented, and oil shale systems are compared to conventional petroleum systems. In addition, some conclusions concerning the net energy potential of oil shale systems are drawn. Finally, the utility of net energy analysismore » as a tool for decision-making is discussed.« less
  • An investigation of cellular level effects of processed oil shale from a simulation of modified in situ retorting was undertaken as part of an assessment of the toxicity and mutagenicity of oil shale. Complete assessment of the health hazards associated with physical contact, inhalation, or ingestion of oil shale has not been examined in humans and until it becomes practical to assess these hazards in man, we must rely upon well established in vitro detection procedures in addition to whole animal testing. CHO cells and L-2 rat lung epithelial cell lines were exposed in vitro to processed oil shale particlesmore » at different intervals following exposure. Cells were analyzed for chromosome alterations, cell colony forming ability, DNA synthesis, and cell transformation. The results of these studies demonstrate that retorted oil shale, under these experimental conditions, does modify cells in vitro. Chromosome aberrations increased with dose, cell colony forming ability decreased exponentially with dose, and the rate of DNA synthesis was affected, however cell transformation was not demonstrated after 3 months.« less