Material characterization and gasification of Jordanian oil shale

Rana Qudaih, Ilham Talab, Shabbar Syed, Isam Janajreh, Mohammed Hamdan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Retorting of oil shale is a complex process and difficult to optimize due to the influence of many parameters including type and origin of kerogen, heating rate, the maximum process temperature pressure, degradation/residence time, and particle size. At best practical condition, kerogen thermal conversion does not exceed 70%. Gasification, due to a higher deployed temperature, is another thermal approach for oil shale conversion. In this work, oil shale gasification is simulated in a similar environment to that of the entrained flow gasifier, i.e. at a high temperature and pressure, to investigate the gasification of oil shale samples from El-Lujjun deposit in Jordan. The samples are analytically analyzed at the MIST Laboratory to deduce their chemical composition. Flash-2000 Organic Elemental Analyzer, Simultaneous Thermal Analyzer- Q600STA (STA), and Bomb Calorimeter-Parr600 are used in these analyses in order to determine the ultimate composition, proximate composition, specific heat, and calorific value, respectively. Following initial crushing, the oil shale samples are ball milled and then sieved to 50 μm sizes. From the analytical analyses the oil shale chemical formula is deduced. The O/C and H/C ratios are also evaluated and located on the Van Krevelen diagram for general feed stock comparison. Two scenarios are studied, one assuming an air gasification and the other assuming oxy-gasification. The cold gas efficiencies (CGEs) of both processes are determined by comparing their efficiencies. It is found that a higher CGE is associated with the oxy-gasification method at all temperatures. However, one should note the extra costs of using oxygen as an oxidizer and the handling/utilizing of the large amount of vitrified ash produced.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)339-354
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Energy, Environment and Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2011


  • Cold gasification efficiency
  • El-lujjun
  • Gasification
  • Oil shale
  • Pyrolysis
  • Tga analyses


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