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Title: Clean and secure energy from domestic oil shale and oil sands resources: Quarterly progress report: October 2009 to December 2009
Authors: Smith, Philip J.
Issue Date: 3-Feb-2010
Publisher: University of Utah, Institute for Clean and Secure Energy
Citation: Quarterly Progress Report: October 2009 to December 2009
Type: report
Pages: 31
Abstract: The Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources program is part of the research agenda of the Institute for Clean and Secure Energy (ICSE) at the University of Utah. The program was officially launched on October 1, 2009. The project management plan was submitted for review in November 2009 and has now been finalized. In this quarter, the Clean and Secure Energy program focused on enhancing its dialogue with industry. Seminars presented by the Itasca Group and Red Leaf Resources were sponsored by ICSE as was a field trip to Enshale's oil shale demonstration plant south of Vernal, Utah. Significant efforts were also made in this quarter to enhance other ICSE outreach tools, including the repository, the interactive map, and the website. New private collections have been added to the repository to facilitate communication among ICSE researchers. A new public collection containing peer-reviewed ICSE Research Publications has also been established. The interactive map is being augmented with water-related data. Work at the Utah Geological Survey on the thickness and richness of oil shale zones will further enhance the value of the map. In Task 3.0, ICSE researchers have begun gathering literature data on the potential of oxyfuel for CO2 capture in refining and oil sands upgrading operations and have computed preliminary estimates of life-cycle well-to-pump CO2 emissions for crude oil refining under both baseline and improved process-heater efficiency conditions. In addition, researchers have set up a simulation test matrix based on experimental work performed in a oxy-gas fired furnace at the International Flame Research Foundation. This test matrix considers the impact of fuel/ oxidant inlet velocities, chemistry/mixing model, and mesh resolution on axial velocity and gas composition in the furnace. In Task 4.0, ICSE researchers are focused on the vertical integration of all subtasks into an overarching simulation that considers liquid fuel production from the insitu thermal treatment of oil shale/sands. To achieve this integration, they are planning to use standard samples and a handling protocol. The Subtask 4.1 team has been formulating a theoretical approach to modeling in-situ heating of oil shale and oil sands. This approach will be implemented in the Arches LES code to model the Red Leaf ECOSHALE capsule. Geometry information has been obtained from Red Leaf with additional information to follow. The Subtask 4.2 team focused on using experimental design techniques to identify model parameters that most influenced the ultimate recovery of oil from an in-situ oil shale pyrolysis scenario. The kerogen cracking activation energy, the relative permeability representation, the oil cracking to gas activation energy, and possibly the activation energy distribution representation were found to have significant impacts on the ultimate recovery of oil in these simulations. Researchers in Subtask 4.3 used TGA analysis to identify the differences the weight loss and reaction kinetics of oil shale in three different sweep gas environments (nitrogen, air and CO2). For all three environments, the decomposition temperature range shifted to higher temperatures as the heating rate increased. The Subtask 4.4 team compared TGA decomposition data of dry shale and samples soaked in water for five months. The peak decomposition temperatures of watersoaked samples were slightly higher than the baseline samples. A pyrolyzed oil shale sample subjected to X-ray nano tomography by the Subtask 4.5 team exhibited two distinct regions of cracks and voids. The estimated permeability from Lattice Boltzmann simulations of this pyrolyzed sample was 0.363 mD. ICSE researchers in Subtask 4.6 determined that their 12-unit kerogen model had some deficiencies. They modified their models to reflect certain degrees of cross-linking in the structures to mimic published data from oxidation experiments. In Task 5.0, ICSE researchers continued to monitor and review (1) litigation challenging the federal oil shale leasing rule and the Programatic EIS for oil shale and oil sands leasing and (2) rulemaking and research relating to water resources and water quality. Lastly, in Task 6.0, the research team developed a plan for the process flow sheets needed for the various scenarios, continued research related to environmental and greenhouse gas regulatory issues and externalities associated with the Canadian oil sands production, developed criteria for refining the scenarios on which to perform a supply cost analysis, and continued work on the revenue side of the viability issue.
URI: http://ds.heavyoil.utah.edu/dspace/handle/123456789/10808
Appears in Collections:ICSE Management

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