Oil Shale and Shale Gas Technology

Dr. Lee's group, while at the University of Akron, conducted a pioneering research on oil shale extraction using carbon dioxide as a sweep gas medium, which resulted in remarkably enhanced recovery of shale oil from oil shale. The technology was awarded a U.S. patent in 1985. The technology was demonstrated on a large variety of worldwide shale samples including Colorado, Ohio Devonian, N. Carolina, Chattanooga, Australian Stewart, Jordanian El-Lajjun , and Isareli shales. It was also proven by the team's investigation that the enhancement in oil recovery is very significant under both subcritical and supercritical conditions. Recent studies further indicate that the technology is eminently applicable to modern shale gas fracking technologies.

Current R&D interests in the shale fuels area include:

1. On-site Treatment and Reuse of Fracking Flowback Water
2. Enhanced Shale Gas/Oil Recovery Process
3. Waterless Fracking Technology
4. Development of Environmentally Friendly Additives for Fracking
5. Synthesis of Polymeric Proppants and Gellants
6. Beneficial Use of Caron Dioxide in Fracking Technology
7. Environmental Assessment

For more information for collaborative R&D and/or sponsoring a project, please contact us.

S. Lee's Research and Teaching Activities in the Area of Oil Shale/Shale Oil/Shale Gas Technology

A. Books and Book Chapters on Oil Shale

1. S. Lee, Author, "Oil Shale Technology," CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, ISBN-0-8493-4615-0, 1991. An updated 2nd edition of this book is scheduled for publication in 2013.

2. S. Lee, Author, "Alternative Fuels," Taylor & Francis, Washington, D.C., ISBN-1-56032-361-2, 1996. Chapter 7 is "Oil Shale and Shale Oil."

3. S. Lee, Author, "Methane and Its Derivatives," Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, NY, ISBN-0-8247-9754-X, 1997.

4. S. Lee, J. G. Speight, and S.K. Loyalka, Co-authors, "Handbook of Alternative Fuel Technologies," CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL, ISBN: 0-8247-4069-6, FL 2007. Chapter 8 is "Shale Oil from Oil Shale."

5. S. Lee, a chapter on "Oil Shale," in Encyclopedia of Petroleum Science and Engineering, edited by George J. Antos, Taylor & Francis, N.Y., NY, 2007.

B. U.S. Patent Awarded in Oil Shale Extraction Technology

1. S. Lee and R. Joshi, "Enhanced Oil Recovery from Western United States Type Oil Shale Using Carbon Dioxide Retorting Technique," U.S. Patent No. 4,502,942, March 5, 1985.

C. Journal Publications in Oil Shale Technology (Co-authors are Lee's students)

1. R. Joshi and S. Lee*, "Comparative Study Between the Kinetics of Retorting of Ohio and Colorado Shale," Liquid Fuels Technology, Vol. 1, pp. 17-34, 1983.

2. V. Parameswaran, M. E. Polasky, and S. Lee*, "Enhanced Oil Recovery from Pyrolysis of Various Australian Shales," ACS Fuel Preprint, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 286-293, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC (1985).

3. M. E. Polasky and S. Lee*, "Pyrolysis Kinetics of Various Australian Oil Shales in Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide Atmospheres," ACS Fuel Preprint, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 294-300, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC (1985).

4. Y. Wang and S. Lee*, "A Single Particle Model for Pyrolysis of Oil Shale," Fuel Sci. & Tech. Int'l., Vol. 4, pp. 447-481, 1986.

5. M. E. Polasky and S. Lee*, "Boiling Range Distributions of Various Shale Oils and Influence of Carbon Dioxide Retorting," Fuel Sci. & Tech. Int'l., Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 83-94, 1988.

6. M. E. Polasky and S. Lee*, "A Slope Method for Characterizing Shale Oils," Fuel Sci. & Tech. Int'l., Vol. 6, No. 4, pp. 367-379, 1988.

7. S. Kesavan, A. Ghosh, V. Parameswaran, and S. Lee*, "Supercritical Extraction of Stuart Shale," Fuel Sci. & Tech. Int'l., 6(5), pp. 505-523, 1988.

8. M. E. Polasky, S. K. Kesavan, and S. Lee*, "Chemical Compositions of Shale Oil. I. Dependence on Oil Shale Origin," Fuel Sci. & Tech. Int'l., Vol. 9, No. 8, pp. 1015-1059, 1991.

9. S. Lee*, K. L. Fullerton and M. E. Polasky, "Chemical Composition of Shale Oil. II. Dependence on Extraction Process," Fuel Sci. & Tech. Int'l., Vol. 9, No. 9, pp. 1151-1179, 1991.

10. D. J. Tucker, B. Masri, and S. Lee*, "A Comparison of Retorting and Supercritical Extraction Techniques on El-Lajjun Oil Shale," Energy Sources, Vol. 22, No. 5, PP. 453-464, 2000.

D. Proceedings Articles in Oil Shale

1. S. Lee*, M. E. Polasky and R. Joshi, "Pyrolysis Kinetics of Various Eastern Shales in Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide Atmosphere," Proceedings of 1983 Eastern Oil Shale Symposium, Vol. 1, pp. 225-233, University of Kentucky Institute of Mining & Minerals Research, Lexington, KY (1983).

2. J. E. Vamosi and S. Lee*, "Subcritical CO2 Retorting vs. Supercritical CO2 Extraction of Oil Shale," Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual International Pittsburgh Coal Conference, Vol. 1, pp. 745-749, Pittsburgh, PA, Sept., 11-15, 1995.

E. Conference Papers, Seminars and Short Courses Delivered on Oil Shale Topics

1. R. Joshi, Y. Wang, and S. Lee*, "Kinetic Study of Eastern Oil Shale Pyrolysis," paper presented at the 11th Annual Akron Chemists-Chemical Engineers Symposium, Akron, Ohio, 1980.

2. Invited Seminar on "Eastern Oil Shale Pyrolysis," Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, April 6, 1983.

3. Invited Seminar on "Recent Advances in Synfuel Research", Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, May 25, 1983.

4. J. E. Vamosi, B. S. Kocher, K. L. Fullerton, and S. Lee*, "Supercritical Extraction Product Characterization of Various Oil Shales," 1993 Eastern Oil Shale Symposium, Lexington, KY., November 16-19, 1993.

5. H. B. Lanterman, J. E. Vamosi, B. S. Kocher, and S. Lee*, "Supercritical Hydrogen Extraction and Upgrading of Israeli Oil Shale," Symposium on Supercritical Fluids, AIChE 1994 Annual Meeting, Paper # 118x, San Francisco, CA, Nov., 13-18, 1994.

6. An invited short course on "Shale Gas Technology," delivered at Northern Technologies International Corp., Circle Pines, MN, December 12, 2012.

F. Graduate Degree Students Guided in Oil Shale Topics

1. 1981     Shong-Tai Jeng (M.S., Modeling and Simulation of Oil Shale Retorting Process)

2. 1982     Yeh Wang (M.S., A Single Particle Model for Pyrolysis of Oil Shale)

3. 1982     Rajendra Joshi (M.S., Kinetic Study of Eastern Oil Shale Pyrolysis)

4. 1985     Mark E. Polasky (M.S., Pyrolysis Kinetics and Process Optimization of Eastern United States and Australian Oil Shales)

5. 1988     Mark E. Polasky (Ph.D., Characterization of Extracted Shale Oil Crudes

6. 1998     Bassam Masri (Ph.D., Extraction and Characterization of El-Lajjun Jordanian Oil Shale

G. Class Teaching (in Oil Shale Topics)

1. Alternative Fuels (Missouri University of Science and Technology) F07, S08, F09

2. Alternative Fuels (Ohio University) S11. F12

3. Shale Fuels (Ohio University) S12