A comparison of the structure and reactivity of five Jordanian oil shales from different locations

Mohammad Amer, Marc Marshall, Yi Fei, William Roy Jackson, Martin Leo Gorbaty, Peter James Cassidy, Alan Loyd Chaffee

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Reactions of five Jordanian oil shales, Yarmouk in the north, El-Lajjun, Sultani and Attrat Um Ghudran in the center and Ma’an in the south have been carried out at 355 °C, 390 °C and 425 °C for 1 h under N2 or H2. The shales showed significant differences in reactivity, with central and northern Jordanian oil shales being more reactive on a dmmf basis than those from the south. However, the dmmf product yields of southern (Ma’an) oil shale for 5 h reactions were similar to those for 1 h reactions of the other shales. The only relationship between characteristics of the oil shales and the yields of useful products was the proportion of aromatic carbon in the solid state 13C NMR spectra of the shales, the Ma’an shale with the lowest aromatic carbon value being the least reactive. The central Jordanian oil shales were less sensitive to the action of catalysts than those from the north and the south. H2 generally gave higher yields of useful products than N2. Mo-based catalysts were the most effective in all cases for both gases.

The composition of the liquid products from 390 °C reactions as reflected in the 1H NMR spectra and gas chromatography–mass spectroscopy did not correlate with the differences in reactivity. Similarly the C, H, N and S elemental analysis data for the products did not correlate with the reactivity nor did the sulfur content of the products correlate with that of the shale. The CO2 yields under the reaction conditions used were small.

In summary, the Jordanian oil shales show unexpected structural and reactivity differences, when it is considered that they were deposited at roughly the same time in the same region.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014

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