Oil Shale Processing Products & By-Products

Oil Shale Processing Products

The Secondary products from the Oil shale Processing:

And by installing a special unit some petrochemicals can be produced:

Shale Oil

Shale oil, known also as kerogen oil or oil-shale oil, is unconventional oil produced from oil shale by pyrolysis, hydrogenation, or thermal dissolution. These processes convert the organic matter within the rock (kerogen) into synthetic oil and gas. The resulting oil can be used immediately as a fuel or upgraded to meet refinery feedstock specifications by adding hydrogen and removing impurities such as sulfur and nitrogen. The refined products can be used for the same purposes as those derived from crude oil.

Table 1: Shows Properties of the base fractions of shale oil


Although raw shale oil can be immediately burnt as a fuel oil, many of its applications require that it be upgraded. The differing properties of the raw oils call for correspondingly various pre-treatments before it can be sent to a conventional oil refinery.

Particulates in the raw oil clog downstream processes; sulfur and nitrogen create air pollution. Sulfur and nitrogen, along with the arsenic and iron that may be present, also destroy the catalystsused in refining. Olefins form insoluble sediments and cause instability. The oxygen within the oil, present at higher levels than in crude oil, lends itself to the formation of destructive free radicals. Hydrodesulphurization and Hydrodenitrogenation can address these problems and result in a product comparable to benchmark crude oil. Phenols can be first be removed by water extraction. Upgrading shale oil into transport fuels requires adjusting hydrogen–carbon ratios by adding hydrogen (hydrocracking) or removing carbon (coking).

Shale oil produced by some technologies, such as the Kiviter process, can be used without further upgrading as an oil constituent and as a phenolic compound. Distillate oils from the Kiviter process can also be used as diluents for petroleum-originated heavy oils and as an adhesive-enhancing additive in bituminous materials such as asphalt.

Shale Oil Cracking Products

Petrol, motor kerosene, “diesel oil”, and solvents are by their origin the products of step-by-step cracking of oil shale; shale oil formed on retorting (thermal cracking) of oil shale is submitted to further vapor-phase cracking to elevate hydrogen content in lighter fractions and the concentration of desired compounds. Also, a lot of heteroatoms as a result of cracking are removed.


  Motor kerosene produced from 1932 to 1966 was used for road-making machines, tractors and motorboats running. Shale oil motor kerosene is yellow-colored having specific weight 820-850 kg m-3, heat of combustion 10500 kcal kg-1 and boiling range 150-260 ºC. It does not contain phenols and organic acids.



Diesel Fuel

Two types of diesel fuels (Table 5.2) as refined and fractionated products obtained on raw shale oil cracking were produced in Estonia till 1940.

Table 2: Shows Characterization of shale oil cracked diesel fuel


By installing a special unit some petrochemicals can be separated from Thiophene:

Main Chemicals:


Thiophene compounds are applied as raw material in new technologies:

Other Chemicals From Oil Shale

It was proposed by Akar and Ekinci (1995) to use the abundant alkane and al- kene content of shale oils as a source for the production of related value-added chemicals. Table 5.3 shows the model structure of oil shale with nitrogen widely distributed. The C-C fraction can be used for the production of plasticizers via the synthesis of alcohols by the ox reaction. The production of biodegradable linear dodecylbenzene from the C-C fraction as a detergent raw material is considered. The C–C fraction is proposed as a raw material for fatty alcohols and alkyl sulfonate production. The heavy-end alkane fraction may be cracked for the production of various lower-molecular-weight alkenes. The high nitrogen content of the shale oil may also be advantageous in the production of new materials. Asphalt and carbon fibers are obtainable from the heavy shale oil fraction. The processes available in the chemical and petroleum industry can be utilized.

Table 3: Representative Nitrogen- Containing Compounds in Petroleum, Shale Oil, and Coal Derived Liquids

Efficiency of Oil Shale Industry

Illustrates the flows of oil shale from extraction to final products to consumers, in other words – the efficiency of the oil shale industry. Data from 2002 were used in calculations. This year as a quite representative one, since the most inefficient mines were already closed by this time (Sompa in 1999, Kohtla in 2000 and Ahtme in 2002).



A scheme of material flows and efficiency of the Estonian oil shale industry.

Industries based on oil shale products:

Utilizing Ash for Industry

  • Adsorbent from Oil Shale Ash

Adsorbents can be produced from oil shale fly ash. Oil shale by-product was converted into Zeolite by alkali hydrothermal activation using sodium hydroxide. Activation was performed at different temperatures using 1, 3 and 8 M sodium hydroxide. The produced Zeolite was used as ion exchange for cleaning metal ions from wastewater.


  • Cement

 Oil shale can be used in manufacturing Portland cement. It was discovere

d that utilization of spent oil shale for cement production can reduce the required temperature for clinkering reactions. Jordanian oil shale was been used in the cement industry. Table 5.4 compares the properties of conventional cement and oil shale ash (OSA) from Jordanian and Estonian oil shales.




Table 4: Chemical Compositions of OSA and Conventional Cement

Oil Shale Ash Properties :

  • The OSA is rich in inorganic elements, such as aluminum and silicon, which can be used to produce chemical products by hydrometallurgical technology.
  • Oil shale ash properties (chemical, granulometric etc.) depend on the burning conditions (PC versus CFB), but also from the separation point (bottom ash, fly ash).
  • Properties will change remarkably during hydro transport.

Oil Shale Ash Uses:

  • Building Materials
  • Cement Production
  • Ash in Road Construction
  • Oil Shale Ash in Agriculture
  • Oil Shale Ash for Flue Gas Cleaning
  • Mass Stabilizing of Soils and Hazardous Sediments
  • Preparation of nano-sized alumina
  • Applications of silica nanoparticles
  • Backfilling of Underground Mines
  • Ash as Raw Material for the Chemical Industry
  • Ferrite microwave absorbing materials.

Raw Materials 

The main raw materials used in the cement manufacturing process are limestone, sand, shale, clay, and iron ore. The main material, limestone, is usually mined on site while the other minor materials may be mined either on site or in nearby quarries. Another source of raw materials is industrial by-products. The use of by-product materials to replace natural raw materials is a key element in achieving sustainable development.


Raw Material Preparation

Mining of limestone requires the use of drilling and blasting techniques. The blasting techniques use the latest technology to insure vibration, dust, and noise emissions are kept at a minimum.

Material is loaded at the blasting face into trucks for transportation to the crushing plant. Through a series of crushers and screens, the limestone is reduced to a size less than 100 mm and stored until.


Raw Grinding

In the wet process, each raw material is proportioned to meet a desired chemical composition and fed to a rotating ball mill with water. The raw materials are ground to a size where the majority of the materials are less than 75 microns.

In the dry process, each raw material is proportioned to meet a desired chemical composition and fed to either a rotating ball mill or vertical roller mill. The raw materials are dried with waste process gases and ground to a size where the majority of the materials are less than 75 microns.

Finish Grinding and Distribution

 The black, nodular clinker is stored on site in silos or clinker domes until needed for cement production. Clinker, gypsum, and other process additions are ground together in ball mills to form the final cement products. Fineness of the final products, amount of gypsum added, and the amount of process additions added are all varied to develop a desired performance in each of the final cement products.


Other Ores Available in Attarat


23 February 2016

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24 February 2016

Chalk is a fine grained white limestone or micrite. On average, it consists 97.5 – 98.5% calcium carbonate. Clay and quartz are the most common impurities. Most chalk is soft...


26 February 2016

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Oil Shale Processing Products & By-Products

26 February 2016
Oil Shale Processing Products & By-Products

Oil Shale Processing Products The Secondary products from the Oil shale Processing: And by installing a special unit some petrochemicals can be produced: Shale Oil Shale oil, known also as...