Commercialization of eastern US oil shales - a review (Discussion) - Technical Papers, MINING ENGINEERING, Vol. 37, No. 18 December 1985, pp. 1381-1385

Rajaram, V. ; Carr, D. D. ; Hasenmueller, N. R. ; Leininger, R. K.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 2
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
The content of the paper by V. Rajaram does not fulfill the expectations of the title. But Rajaram submitted the article in October 1983, and he could not have foreseen the numerous developments that would occur before his paper was published more than two years later. Nevertheless, Rajaram failed to mention the interest in oil shale development in southern Indiana beginning in late 1979 and continuing through the present as a result of special financial encouragement of three oil shale projects in May and August 1984 by the Indiana Energy Development Board and the Indiana Corp. for Science and Technology. A session at the 1985 Eastern Oil Shale Symposium in Lexington, KY, Nov. 18-20, 1985, gave the current status of oil shale developments in the eastern United States. Speakers at this session reported on the three Indiana projects. First, Gary D. Aho, Cliffs Engineering Inc., spoke on a feasibility study by Cliffs Engineering and Allis Chalmers for a site-specific pilot plant using the Allis Chalmers process. The plant site is in Clark County, IN, on property of the Midwest Energy Resources Co. The project is funded by $240,908 each from the Indiana Energy Development Board/Corp, for Science and Technology (EDB/CST) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) and $120,454 from the corporate sponsors (total $602,270). Completion is scheduled for mid-1986. Next, Edwin M. Piper, Stone and Webster Engineering Corp., discussed the American Syn-Crude/Indiana Oil Shale Project. This effort followed the completion of two smaller projects funded by the Indiana EDB/ CST: "Testing of Indiana Oil Shale in a Petrosix Pilot Plant" (total funding by EDB/CST at $50,000) and "Assessment of the Petrosix Process for an Indiana Shale Oil Plant" (total funding by EDB/CST at $100,000). The status at the time of the report at the Oil Shale Symposium was that a request for an extension of time for securing nonfederal support had been submitted to the US Synfuels Corp. The proposal included building an 11-m (36-ft) diam retort in south-eastern Indiana to process the New Albany Shale and to produce 366 m3 (2300 bbl) of shale oil per day by the PETROSIX process. The Indiana EDB/CST had contracted with Stone and Webster at $401,100 from EDB/CST and $245,835 from Stone and Webster for activities to advance the project in the negotiations with Synfuels Corp. At the time of the report, this project was the only eastern oil shale proposal that was still on the agenda of the Synfuels Corp. As a result of Congressional action in late December 1985, federal support from the Synfuels Corp. is no longer possible. Finally, Victor H. Carr, Eastern Shale Research Corp., described his firm's project, which is jointly supported by DOE ($227,749) and the Indiana EDB/ CST ($73,850) and is entitled "Feasibility Study to Determine Suitability of an In-Situ Process to Recover Hydrocarbons from Eastern Shale." An area in Scott County, IN, had been chosen, but not a specific 9 x 15-m (30 x 50-ft) site. One burn of a small in situ retort is contemplated as part of the project. Besides these three projects, several reports on shale research were presented. Joseph Damukaitis, American Syn-Crude Corp., reported that a pilot plant using the hydrogenation-extraction (H-E) process (described at the 1984 Eastern Oil Shale Symposium) was 94% built and would go through shakedown with oil shale but would then shift mechanical devices to process coal mine waste. Current status of research on the HYTORT process was then presented by Raymond C. Rex, Jr. Oil shale beneficiation research at the University of Alabama/Minerals Research Institute was reported by R. Bruce Tippin. Scott D. Carter discussed continued research on fluidized-bed retorting of shale at the Kentucky Center for Energy Research Laboratory. Carl E. Roosmagi of DOE, Morgantown, reported on the oil shale research at the Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC) laboratory. Henry J. Gomberg, Ann Arbor Nuclear Inc., discussed "Radiation Combined with Donor Solvents for Extraction and Up-Grading of Kerogen." Aurora M. Rubel and coauthor Eileen Davis presented results of research at the Kentucky Center for Energy Research Laboratory under the title "The Effect of Shale Particle Size on the Products from the Bench Scale Fixed Bed Steam Pyrolysis of Kentucky Sunbury Shale." Lastly, Maria Rockwell, Technical University of Nova Scotia, presented "Processing and Up-Grading of Low Grade Nova Scotia Oil Shale for Potential Use." A review of shale oil prospects by Gerald Parkinson in Chemical Engineering for Feb. 3, 1986, covers both western and eastern projects and includes a report that the US DOE is funding a few relatively small projects; most of the fiscal 1986 budget of $12 million for shale oil is for fundamental research. Projects include a $3.2 million three-year contract with Hycrude Corp. (Chicago) for development of the HYTORT process and a $1.2 million three-year contract with the University of Alabama's Mineral Resources Institute on beneficiation of eastern oil shale by froth flotation. The report incorrectly states that current projects include a total investment of $466 million in a pair of 18-month technical and economic feasibility studies for proposed projects in southern Indiana. The correct figure is $468,657 [$240,908 for the Cliffs Engineering/
Full Article Download:
(167 kb)