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oil shale

n. a sedimentary rock containing kerogen from which petroleum-like shale oil can be produced by pyrolysis, hydrogenation, or thermal dissolution.

oil shale

n. shale from which oil can be obtained by heating

Oil shale

Oil shale, also known as kerogen shale, is an organic-rich fine-grained sedimentary rock containing kerogen (a solid mixture of organic chemical compounds) from which liquid hydrocarbons called shale oil (not to be confused with tight oil— crude oil occurring naturally in shales) can be produced. Shale oil is a substitute for conventional crude oil; however, extracting shale oil from oil shale is more costly than the production of conventional crude oil both financially and in terms of its environmental impact. Deposits of oil shale occur around the world, including major deposits in the United States. Estimates of global deposits range from of oil in place.

Heating oil shale to a sufficiently high temperature causes the chemical process of pyrolysis to yield a vapor. Upon cooling the vapor, the liquid shale oil—an unconventional oil—is separated from combustible oil-shale gas (the term shale gas can also refer to gas occurring naturally in shales). Oil shale can also be burned directly in furnaces as a low-grade fuel for power generation and district heating or used as a raw material in chemical and construction-materials processing.

Oil shale gains attention as a potential abundant source of oil whenever the price of crude oil rises. At the same time, oil-shale mining and processing raise a number of environmental concerns, such as land use, waste disposal, water use, waste-water management, greenhouse-gas emissions and air pollution. Estonia and China have well-established oil shale industries, and Brazil, Germany, and Russia also utilize oil shale.

General composition of oil shales constitutes inorganic matrix, bitumens, and kerogen. Oil shales differ from oil-bearing shales, shale deposits that contain petroleum ( tight oil) that is sometimes produced from drilled wells. Examples of oil-bearing shales are the Bakken Formation, Pierre Shale, Niobrara Formation, and Eagle Ford Formation.

Oil Shale (journal)

Oil Shale is a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal covering research in petrology, especially concerning oil shale. The journal covers geology, mining, formation, composition, methods of processing, combustion, economics, and environmental protection related to oil shale. It is abstracted and indexed in the Science Citation Index. The editor-in-chief is Anto Raukas.

Usage examples of "oil shale".

Except that the feedstock for the Welsh single-cell protein factories was coal instead of oil shale, her world had been almost exactly like mine.

It was also possible to heat and obtain oil out of asphalt from Trinidad, or out of certain kinds of rocks called shale that seemed to be impregnated with oily material (hence it was called oil shale).

At one point before reaching Oberon he looked over the most magnificent valley he had ever seen, but its thousand-foot cliffs were Triassic sandstone, and their bases held coal and oil shale, not gold.

Nor is this type of mineral found in association with deposits of oil, gas, oil shale, or other commercial hydrocarbon products.