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Oil shales are large solid stone/rock formations that contains hydro carbons. It holds of course less hydrocarbons than crude oil. In order to release these hydrocarbons from the shale stones, it needs to be heated, than they hydrocarbons vaporize and these temperately gas can be condensed to a liquid and than distillated in to oil products. The process use the vaporized gas also to fuel it's own heating process. Oilshales can be explored in surface mining, underground mining and in in-situ projects. The in-situ process extracts the oil of the oilshale without moving them, by creating of underground fire technologies and underground vaporized hydrocarbon harvesting. Water (as heat transporter and process temperature protector) is the missing/expensive part in old technologies based oilshale production models, new models will be waterless technologies. Gasifying will gain enormous popularity. Oilshales can be harvested with 25% to 33% energy lost: using 1 barrel equivalent to explore 4 or 3 barrels oil. A huge development in oilshales energy efficiency improvement will be if oilshales-to-power plants will become the most used model. Independent if the mining is surface/underground or in-situ. Based on direct harvesting the energetic value (air expansion in both production and burning) of the vaporized gasses, or indirect by warmth pump technologies. This requires an on-location power infrastructure/grid connection. When hydrogen production energy efficiency could rise, that would also be an off grid location than.

Author: Gijs Graafland

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