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Shale Oil - Interesting Studebaker History Read

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  • Bills R2
    IIRC, Allis Chalmers bet the farm on Shale oil & gas.
    Just one of the many reasons that they are not still around.
    Several of the other reasons? David C Scott.
    Best Milwaukee business leader since Bill Nance!

    Leave a comment:

  • gordr
    Well, color me skeptical. I'm not aware of there ever having been much use of oil shale, mined from surface exposures, as fuel. For one thing, weathering on surface would soon deplete the hydrocarbon content, or bacteria would literally eat it up. "Bugs" know oil is a source of energy, too, and are not at all shy about eating it. Further, if Peter Studebaker had indeed used oil shale to fire his furnaces, there should be evidence of mining there, like a quarry pit. Also piles of clinkers or slag. The best oil shale is only about 50% hydrocarbon by weight, and the rest is clay. I have some oil shale that comes from the subsurface in Alberta. It's light brown and crumbly; looks like dried-out dusty baker's chocolate. You can light a piece on fire, and it will burn for several minutes with a sooty and stinky orange flame. When the flame goes out, what remains is a little hunk of white clay, very fluffy, which you can crush to dust between your fingertips. The "oil" in this shale is kerogen, a solid hydrocarbon more like wax or plastic than it is like crude oil. The "shale oil" and "shale gas" plays currently being exploited are often in siltstone, which is a gritty rock like sandstone, only finer-textured, and containing some clay. But it has a slight amount of permeability, which means fluids like oil and gas can move through it, albeit slowly. The permeability of true shale is effectively zero, unless it is heavily fractured by natural fractures. No amount of drilling and frac'ing into a true oil shale will get you any production, because the solid kerogen won't move. I believe there was an attempt to produce shale oil in the Green River basin, by mining the shale, and cooking it in a retort, breaking down the kerogen into liquid hydrocarbons and gases, which were then distilled into products. But it was uneconomic at the prevailing crude prices. You might be able to produce oil from such shales at depth by doing an in-situ fire flood; pump oxygen down the middle of three parallel wellbores, set the shale on fire, and let the heat and pressure crack some of the kerogen and force it into the flanking wellbores, from which it could be pumped. This would be very expensive, and I'm sure it would be anathema to the environmentalists.

    Another thing about that article. It talks about steel made using coal as being "contaminated" by carbon. No, just, no. Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Carbon is a necessary constituent of steel. Iron without carbon in it is iron, not steel.

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    started a topic Shale Oil - Interesting Studebaker History Read

    Shale Oil - Interesting Studebaker History Read

    Peter Studebaker knew something special then?

    (snippet copy - see link for entire article)

    In colonial times, everyone used coal to fire foundry furnaces.
    More than 270 years ago, Peter Studebaker was the only person, to use oil shale to fuel his foundry furnaces that extracted iron from iron-ore to manufacture steel.
    By using oil shale extreme heat was produced to harden and strengthen steel.
    Today, major oil companies using the same natural resources are just beginning to understand how to separate oil from shale to develop gasoline.

    More reading:
    Last edited by DEEPNHOCK; 12-05-2015, 05:09 AM.