Pilot Plant Design - Integrated Coal Gasification/Shale Oil Recovery

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Combustion Resources
1453 West 820 North
Provo, UT 84601
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


U.S. and world supplies of petroleum are limited, causing substantial increases and fluctuations in the cost of liquid transportation fuels. The U.S. has vast untapped oil shale reserves (an estimated recoverable 1.15 trillion bbl) in UT, CO, and WY, which could help alleviate the problem if the oil from shale could be economically recovered in an environmentally acceptable way. This project will demonstrate a patented procedure for recovering shale oil from an integrated coal-gasification/oil-shale-recovery process, while at the same time producing conventional coal gasifier products (e.g., electricity, hydrogen, liquids, fertilizer). The demonstration will be performed at pilot plant scale, since the procedure previously had been demonstrated at laboratory scale. Phase I will: (1) complete the design for an integrated, coal-gasification/oil-shale-recovery pilot-plant process; (2) develop a preliminary schematic layout for the process; and (3) obtain refined capital and operating cost data. Specific tasks include determining the pilot-plant scale size; characterizing the feedstock; determining the shale-oil hydro-heating requirements; and selecting the coal gasifier, emissions control systems, instrumentation, and plant site location. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The new process for shale oil recovery could lead to the production of 15,000 bbl/day of shale oil, together with selected coal gasification products (e.g., eletricity, hydrogen, liquids, fertilizer) from a 300 MWe gasification plant.