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Title: Clean and Secure Energy from Domestic Oil Shale and Oil Sands Resources: Quarterly progress report: January 2012 to March 2012
Authors: Smith, Philip J.
Issue Date: Apr-2012
Type: Report
Pages: 60
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. In outreach efforts, ICSE participated in a session on oil sands at the Utah Governor’s Annual Energy Development Summit on February 15, 2012. In addition, the External Advisory Board (EAB) recommendations were finalized and circulated to EAB members as well as ICSE faculty, staff and students. Researchers in Task 3.0 are developing a modified assessment tool for evaluating regional economic and environmental effects of unconventional fuel development. Work this quarter was temporarily suspended pending the completion of the Market Assessment (Subtask 6.3) by key personnel. The Subtask 3.1 team continued to refined the transportation-related emission factors for the air quality module in the model. The Subtask 3.2 team developed a coupled approach to simulating both the 2m x 2m x 6m International Flame Research Foundation (IFRF) furnace and the TEA-C burner that it is fired with. This approach involves fully resolving the burner geometry and the fluid flow through that geometry in Star-CCM+ and then using the simulation outputs at the exit plan of the burner as the inputs for the ARCHES simulation of the furnace. A wide range of analyses on three different sections of the Skyline 16 core (GR-1, GR-2, and GR-3) were conducted as part of Subtasks 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, and 4.9 during this quarter. The Subtask 4.3 researchers conducted thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) experiments at three different heating rates (5°C/min, 10°C/min and 20°C/min) with kerogens extracted from homogenous powdered samples of GR-1, GR-2 and GR-3 oil shales. They also continued collection of tar and char samples from the same demineralized kerogen samples from Green River Basin using the kerogen retort. The Subtask 4.5 team compared the texture change of kerogen-rich GR-1 core samples before and after pyrolysis at different reaction temperatures (450°C and 500°C) and a heating rate of 100°C/min by comparing the relative position of mineral grains. Additionally, directional permeability of GR-1 cores was calculated based on the pore network structure from X-ray computed tomography analysis coupled with LB simulation. Subtask 4.6 researchers modeled the interaction of kerogen with mineral matrices, using fragments of published crystal structures of illite, dolomite and calcite. The calculations were completed at the molecular mechanic level of theory using the UFF potential available in Gaussian 09. Subtask 4.7 researchers focused on design modifications and added capabilities for the apparatus they will be using for in situ testing of GR-1, GR-2 and GR-3 core samples. They also obtained permeability and porosity measurements of the oil shale samples that will be used in the in-situ testing simulations. These measurements were performed gratis by TerraTek. The Subtask 4.8 team performed a Quantitative Evaluation of Mineral by SCANning electron microscopy (QEMscan) analysis and determined that the mineralogic textures are dominated by dolomite, illite, and calcite.The Subtask 4.9 research team completed data collection on the kerogen and bitumen extracted from GR-1, GR-2, and GR-3, including small angle x-ray scattering and atomic pairwise distribution functions and bitumen solution NMR. The other Task 4.0 projects are focused on simulation of various in situ processes. The Subtask 4.1 team added a reaction chemistry model and improved oil shale properties to the Star-CCM+ CFD-based simulation tool they are developing to study the thermal heating of oil shale inside the Red Leaf ECOSHALE capsule. They can now study product yield as a function of temperature and of shale properties. The Subtask 4.2 team studied a method for reducing computational cost and increasing accuracy of simulation results. This method uses random data sampling combined with the Central Limit Theorem to propagate error through dynamic calculations. Subtask 5.0 researchers have completed and submitted a topical report on cross-jurisdictional resource management. Only Subtask 5.3 remains to be completed. In Task 6.0, six sections of the Market Assessment are ready for publication and a seventh section is in the page layout phase of preparation. Three sections remain to be finalized and to be prepared for publication. American Shale Oil (AMSO) and Task 7.0 researchers are working together to advance the AMSO technology for in situ production of shale oil. A biweekly progress report is circulated to team members in addition to regularly scheduled meetings held on the University of Utah campus. The Subtask 7.2 team coupled a K-value based thermal reservoir model and a geomechanical model in the framework of the Advanced Reactive Transport Simulator to perform the reservoir simulation of coupled geomechanics for a thermal recovery process. Subtask 7.3 researchers studied the effects of the crack size on the thermal history and distribution inside a representative oil shale bed geometry. They have created a suite of simulations of varying crack sizes, and have quantified the effects of crack size on the thermal distribution for one of the scenarios being tested. Team members are working with AMSO scientists to replicate their experiment as closely as possible.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/11195
Appears in Collections:ICSE Management

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