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pressurized hydroretorting technologies has resulted in oil yields of up to 54 gallons per ton.
However, beneficiated shale, which is very finely ground, must be briquetted in order to be processed in a moving-bed technology. Pressurized hydroretorting of beneficiated shale in a fluidized-bed with an inert solids material will allow direct processing of the beneficiated shale. The inert material (sand) in the bed will aid heat transfer promote uniform mixing, and hold the beneficiated shale in the fluidized bed for sufficient residence time.
Eastern oil shales such as Tennessee Chattanooga shale contain significant quantities of strategically important metals such as vanadium, molybdenum, nickel, chromium, and manganese. Recovery of these metals from spent oil shale could reduce our Nation's dependence upon imports of these metals while providing important environmental benefits. Techniques for recovering strategic metals from hydroretorted shale should be investigated.
HYCRUDE Corporation recommends $1.5 million in FY'87 for continuing the research program on expanding the data base for moving-bed hydroretorting of Eastern oil shales, for investigating fluidized-bed hydroretorting of both raw and beneficiated Eastern oil shales, and for investigating the recovery of strategic metals froin spent shale.
In the beneficiation process, oil shale is finely ground and a high proportion of the inert mineral matter is separated from the organic rich portion of the shale. Beneficiation produces a greatly enriched feedstock, which can be retorted by conventional means, or by hydroretorting for even more dramatically increased oil yields. Because the feedstock is enriched, the capital cost for the retorting process is reduced.
Beneficiation can increase the number of Eastern oil shales which can be considered for retorting. In addition to the richer shales of Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, leaner deposits in West Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York can be enriched to the point where retorting is viable.
Fundamental research is now being conducted on beneficiation of Eastern oil shale and on moving-bed hydroretorting of beneficiated shales. A three-year research effort was initiated as a part of the eastern oil shale program mandated by Congress in FY'85. The beneficiation characteristics of various Eastern oil shales will be investigated, and the hydroretorting oil yield will be determined.
Additional research activities which should be conducted in the area of eastern oil shale beneficiation include:
* Determination of the separation characteristics of
ern oil shales as a function of particle size, and the efficiency of various floatation agents.
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Identification of strategic metals present in the effluent
Assessment of the effects of water recycling on the
* Investigation of concepts for sulfur removal from the
beneficiated oil shale.
* The biological removal of nitrogen and sulfur compounds is
currently being investigated for coal. The microbial
HYCRUDE Corporation recommends $1.5 million in FY'87 for continuing oil shale beneficiation research.
Novel Concepts Research:
As a result of the eastern oil shale research program established by Congress, awards will be made to investigate novel concepts which have the potencial to improve the economics or environmental impact of eastern shale retorting. The continuing support of novel concepts research will ensure the development of state-of-the-art retorting technology. Some promising novel concepts are discussed briefly below.
* By supplying the activation energy for the formation of oil
from shale through radiation (at ambient temperature and
Microbial in-situ recovery of shale oil may provide a low
Replacement of the lockhopper systems from high pressure
Catalytic retorting of oil shale can provide a technique
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recovery. This concept needs to be investigated utilizing
The use of spent oil shale use for the production of cement
HYCRUDE Corporation recommends $2.0 million in FY'87 for continuing novel concepts research.
There are a variety of fundamental support research activities which should be undertaken to provide researchers with thermodynamic, chemical and physical properties data for Eastern oil shale. These data are necessary to improve the understanding of oil shale retorting and will aid in the assessment of results obtained in the other eastern oil shale research program areas. Several examples of support research activities are discussed below.
* Reaction kinetics modeling is essential to an understanding
of eastern oil shale retorting and, in specific, oil loss
Research concerning the primary reaction products of
Research on physical, chemical and thermodynamic shale
HYCRUDE Corporation recommends $1.6 million in FY'87 for continuing Eastern oil shale support research activities.
In addition to the environmental process research, it is necessary to conduct environmental studies. These studies should address topics such as the seasonal availability of water.
Baseline data on existing point sources of sulfur and nitrogen oxides should also be gathered.
The results of these studies will provide direction for retorting process optimization (i.e. water consumption and/or product gas desulfurization and denitrification).
HYCRUDE Corporation recommends $1.6 million in FY'87 for continuing environmental studies.
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Senator Evans. Thank you very much.
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STATEMENT OF DAVID O. WEBB, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, POLICY AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS, GAS RESEARCH INSTITUTE
Mr. WEBB. Thank you, Senator Evans. I am David Webb, vice president of the Gas Research Institute. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today to present GRI's views and the fiscal year 1987 budget recommendations for gas-related research in the Department of Energy's fossil conservation and renewable programs.
GRI supports the need to reduce expenditures as Congress intended when it passed the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings bill. Therefore, the GRI recommendation is for a $121 million core program for gas-related research in the DOE budget. This recommendation is approximately 11 percent lower than the fiscal year 1986 congressional appropriations of $135 million for these same projects.
Central to GRI's recommendation is that the gas industry through GRI is planning to commit $161 million of gas industry funds to associated near-term research in these same areas, which more than matches the DOE budget recommendation.
Even though GRI is not a Government contractor and does not accept Federal funds, GRI cofunds many of its research programs with DOE. Therefore, the actions of Congress on the DOE budget do have a direct impact on the gas industry's and GRI's research programs.
In examining the fiscal year 1987 budget request, I think it is important to note that the proposed $12.1 billion DOE budget assigns $8.2 billion or two-thirds of the funds for defense activities. At the same time, new budget authority for the combined research in fossil, conservation, and renewable energy R&D is reduced by 74 percent from $717.5 million in fiscal year 1986 to only $186 million in fiscal year 1987.
To further illustrate this dramatic policy shift, the proposed DOE fiscal year 1987 budget request for the strategic defense initiative program is $604 million-three times the new budget authority for the combined fossil, conservation, and renewable solar programs.
This does not represent sound national energy policy. If Federal energy R&D funding continues this downward spiral, in a few years the Nation will once again find itself faced with rapidly rising levels of oil imports. Terminating ongoing energy R&D programs invites severe problems in meeting future energy demands.
The urgency and necessity of maintaining a viable Federal energy R&D program becomes self-evident when we examine where the United States is projected to get the major portion of its energy supplies during the next 25 years. In 1984 the United States received 90 percent of its energy from fossil fuels. GRI's projections indicates that in the year 2010, the United States will still meet more than 75 percent of its energy needs from fossil fuels. Yet, the DOE budget has proposed to assign less than 2 percent of its new budget authority in 1987 for research in fossil, conservation, and renewable energy.