The structure and reactivity of a low-sulfur lacustrine oil shale (Colorado U.S.A.) compared with those of a high-sulfur marine oil shale (Julia Creek, Queensland, Australia)

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

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Oil shales from two different continents (Australia and North America) of different ages (100 and 40 million years) and origins (one marine, one lacustrine) have been reacted in the range 355-425 °C under H2 or N2 for 1 or 5 h with or without the addition of catalyst. The shales differed in S content, and the nature of the mineral matter, but both had high atomic H/C ratios. The overall reactivity of the two shales was similar and high yields of soluble products could be obtained under relatively mild conditions with only small CO2 yields, but the temperature dependence of reactivity and the effect of potential catalysts differed markedly. Increasing the temperature and time led to increases in conversion but of different extents. Substituting H2 for N2 led to a large increase to conversion for the lower-atomic-H/C ratio marine oil shale. The CH2Cl2 solubles from the marine oil shale showed a larger range of compounds than those from the lacustrine oil shale which resembled the CH2Cl2 solubles from torbanite, a coal-like material derived from lacustrine algae
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-98
Number of pages8
JournalFuel Processing Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Marine/lacustrine oil shales
  • Oil extraction
  • Oil structure
  • Thermogravimetric analysis
  • Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry
  • 1H NMR

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