Using the energy in oil shale without releasing carbon dioxide in a greenhouse world

Apr 20, 2011

New technology that combines production of electricity with capture of carbon dioxide could make billions of barrels of oil shale — now regarded as off-limits because of the huge amounts of carbon dioxide released in its production — available as an energy source in a greenhouse world of the future. That's the conclusion of a report on "electricity production with in situ carbon capture" (EPICC) in ACS' journal Energy & Fuels.

Adam Brandt and Hiren Mulchandani explain that almost 3 trillion barrels of oil are trapped in the world's deposits of , a dark-colored rock laden with petroleum-like material. The United States has by far the world's largest deposits in the Green River Formation, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. Estimates put that total domestic oil resource at 1.2 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels. Limiting potential use of those deposits are concerns over the large amounts of the greenhouse gas released with current methods for extracting oil from shale. That's why the researchers tried to find a new way to get from oil shale without producing greenhouse gases.

Their answer is EPICC — a self-fueled method that generates electricity, as well as the heat needed to produce that electricity from shale. The report describes how EPIC could generate large amounts of without releasing into the atmosphere carbon dioxide from burning the shale. That carbon would be captured and stored underground as part of the production process.

Explore further: Marriage of maths and microalgae a good export

Related Stories

Underground is a great place to store greenhouse gas

Jun 26, 2004

A new approach that is one of the first to successfully store carbon dioxide underground may have huge implications for global warming and the oil industry, says a University of Alberta researcher. Dr. Ben Rostron is part ...

Fracking leaks may make gas 'dirtier' than coal

Apr 12, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Extracting natural gas from the Marcellus Shale could do more to aggravate global warming than mining coal, according to a Cornell study published in the May issue of Climatic Change Letters (105:5).

Recommended for you

Marriage of maths and microalgae a good export

6 hours ago

A spatial model developed in WA to identify suitable locations for farming microalgae can be applied internationally and adapted to locate other renewable technology infrastructures, according to developers.

How to accelerate energy efficiency in BC's buildings

6 hours ago

British Columbia could significantly speed up progress on achieving energy-efficient buildings and homes by adopting the more stringent approaches used by the "green leader" states of California (CA) and Massachusetts (MA), ...

Recharging in private

8 hours ago

An electronic payment system developed in Singapore will protect the privacy of customers recharging their electric vehicles.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

that_guy
not rated yet Apr 20, 2011
Call me skeptical, but carbon sequestration was an inordinately expensive and unproven technology for coal (Although I certainly think it should be pursued further), and with oil shale, I really don't have any optimism that it will be ready any time soon at a price that is practical.

Oil shale is barely economical as it is at the moment. Adding more costs to it won't be especially attractive. Reducing the energy used to seperate it is the first step.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.