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Energies 2018, 11(9), 2297; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11092297

Macro and Meso Characteristics of In-Situ Oil Shale Pyrolysis Using Superheated Steam

1
College of Mining Engineering, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan 030024, China
2
Key Laboratory of In-situ Property Improving Mining of Ministry of Education, Taiyuan University of Technology, Taiyuan 030024, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2018 / Revised: 29 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 31 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer)
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Abstract

The efficiency of oil shale pyrolysis is directly related to the feasibility of in-situ mining technology. Taiyuan University of Technology (China) proposed the technology of in-situ convective heating of oil shale, which uses superheated steam as the heat carrier to heat the oil shale’s ore-body and transport the pyrolysis products. Based on the simulated experiments of in-situ oil shale pyrolysis using superheated steam, the changes in fracture characteristics, pyrolysis characteristics and mesoscopic characteristics of the oil shale during the pyrolysis have been systematically studied in this work. The Xinjiang oil shale’s pyrolysis temperature ranged within 400–510 °C. When the temperature is 447 °C, the rate of pyrolysis of kerogen is the fastest. During the pyrolysis process, the pressure of superheated steam changes within the range of 0.1–11.1 MPa. With the continuous thermal decomposition, the horizontal stress difference shows a tendency to first increase and then, decrease. The rate of weight loss of oil shale residue at various locations after the pyrolysis is found to be within the range of 0.17–2.31%, which is much lower than the original value of 10.8%, indicating that the pyrolysis is more adequate. Finally, the number of microcracks (<50 µm) in the oil shale after pyrolysis is found to be lie within the range of 25–56 and the average length lies within the range of 53.9636–62.3816 µm. The connectivity of the internal pore groups is satisfactory, while the seepage channel is found to be smooth. These results fully reflect the high efficiency and feasibility of in-situ oil shale pyrolysis using superheated steam. View Full-Text
Keywords: superheated steam; triaxial stress; thermogravimetry; X-ray microtomography; thermal cracking superheated steam; triaxial stress; thermogravimetry; X-ray microtomography; thermal cracking
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Wang, L.; Yang, D.; Li, X.; Zhao, J.; Wang, G.; Zhao, Y. Macro and Meso Characteristics of In-Situ Oil Shale Pyrolysis Using Superheated Steam. Energies 2018, 11, 2297.

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