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Publication numberUS1269747 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 18, 1918
Filing dateApr 6, 1918
Priority dateApr 6, 1918
Publication numberUS 1269747 A, US 1269747A, US-A-1269747, US1269747 A, US1269747A
InventorsLebbeus H Rogers
Original AssigneeLebbeus H Rogers
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and apparatus for treating oil-shale.
US 1269747 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

L. H. ROGERS.

METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING OIL SHALE.

APPLICATION FILED APR. 6. I918.

QHWW Patented June 18, 1918.

2 SHEETS-SHEET I.

Iii/775D SUPE HEHTED STf/FM L. H. ROGERS.

METHODOF AND APPARATUS FOR TREATING OIL SHALE.

APPLICATION FILED APR. 6, I918- Patented June 18, 1918* 2 SHEETS-SHEET 2.

RIM 41 LEIIBJBEUS H. ROGERS, 015 NEW YORK, N. Y.

To all whom it may concern."

Be it known that l, LnBBnUs l-l. Rooms, a citizen of the United States of America, and a resident of New York city, N. Y., have invented a new and useful Improvement in Methods of and Apparatus for its object to recover the above products withllb out removing the shale or'rock from the formations in which they naturally occur.

Oil-bearing shales are widely distributed over the earth and usuallyvoccur in horizontal or nearly horizontal beds or layers vary- All . out removlng lit! ing greatl in thickness from a few inches to several undred feet. These beds usually lie between other strata, such as sand-stone, diflering therefrom in character and which are more or less impervious. As heretofore practised, oil-bearing shale has been mined either from the surface by sinking shafts and extending lateral galleries therefrom, as in coal mining, or by stripping the surface and excavating the shale where surface outcrops occur. has been subjected to distillation in retorts for the recovery of the oils and other-volatile products such as ammonia. v

While vast quantities ofoil are locked up in the oil-beanng shales, the cost of removing the shale to the retorts for distillation, except peculiarly advantageous situations, has heretofore rendered this source of oil too expensive to work at a profit. ln certain formations, occurring particularly in theTertiary and Cretaceous ages, the oil-bearing shale outcrops on the slopes and clifls above the valleys or flood planes and appears between strata of impervious rock and extends in horizontal beds far back from the sides of the valleys.

My invention provides a method of treating oil-shale beds to distillation, particularly those lying above the level of'valle'ys, with- I the shale or'only a part of it from its natural position. ith this end in view, 1 cut or tunnel through the shale-bed intersecting passages leaving M a f oil shale of any. desired cross-section. a;

Specification of-ILetters Patent.

Application filed April 6, 1918. Serial No. earner.

This mined or excavated shale an acre, or, more or less, and also preferably leaving supporting masses of rock between the columns. ere impervious rock strata occur at vertical intervals suitable, to constitute ceiling and floor walls for the tunnels, preferably operate between these levels. lnto each column of shale drill blast holes for the reception of explosive charges suitable for rending the mass without destroying the identity of the col.

Each charge is connected up to'outside firingmeans such as a deflagrating battery or spark device.- A brick or concrete wall is erected around each column at a distance therefrom suficient for 'woren to enter between the wall and column. This wall ex-' tends vertically the height of the col and preferably is built against the face of the supporting rock left between the columns. Where the oil-shale lies between impervious strata of suitable vertical interval,

the brick wall extends between such strata. The space between the circumscrihing wall and column also serves the purpose of giv- Nip ing room for the expansion of the sale d uring the process of distillation. A 1| 1 a to the brick wall, such as cement or sheetmetal, is preferably provided and may and preferably is made in sections permitting of its removal and reuse with other columns after the operation of distillation is'comleted. Meansare now provided for sub-.

yecting the mass of shale coed within the wall to the necessary temperature for destructive distillation. This means may assume various forms, such as theintroduction of highly heated fluids under pressure, including air, ste, highlyheated products of combustion, or other gases either separate or mixed, or the heat may be applied by means of the electric current passed through electrodes or resistances lo- This latter manner relied upon alone for the use of heatcated in the oil-shale. of heating may be tilling orhe associated with ed fluids. .The temperatures within the colunder ttment may be inca to the attendant or Stillman for his dance by suitable temperature-sensitive me into indicate or record temperaee outside. ll prefeblyconduct the option of All more or less All troduced to the heated spaced adapted tillation by locating perforated pipes in the body of the confined oil-shale and connect of treatin them with sources of highly heated air and steam under pressure. The air is first heated to a temperature sufficient to set up slow combustion in the oil-shale and is then introduced preferably at the base of the column and is continued until a body of shale has been raised to a temperature sufiicient to start distillation of 'the shale above it. Superheated' steam under pressure is then introduced through the same or different pipes to continue the distillation without combustion. This operation'may be repeated until the oil-shale is exhausted.

The products resulting from the above treatment of the oil-shale are vapors and gases which are withdrawn and conducted to suitable condensers and apparatus for recovering the gasolene, oils, ammonia, and other products. The heavier oils separating from the shale and which do not distil are permitted to drain off to collecting receptacles. Their removal may be assisted, if necessary, by introducing air, steam, or water under pressure to force or flood them out.

The shale residue left after distillation contains alkali metal salts and is useful as a fertilizer. The shale which is removed from around the columns is subjected to distillation in ordinary'retorts for the production of gasolene and other products. The gases produced in the operation of shale distillatiton are used to raise steam, heat the air used in treating the shale columns, and producing power for operating dynamos for supplying heating current and for other purposes.

In order that the invention may be more readily understood, reference is had to the accompanying drawings which show, by way of illustration, constructional forms of my invention, but such drawings are intended merely to assist the description and not to define the limits of the invention.

Figure 1 is a schematic plan view showing the manner of tunneling the oil-shale and arrangement of the inclosing wall;

Fig. 2 is a view partly in vertical section through a bed of oil-shale, and partly diagrammatic showing a column of oil-shale with its inclosing walls and accessory apparatus;

Fig. 3 is a vertical sectional detail view through a bed of shale provided with electric heating means;

' Fig. 4 is an enlarged detail plan view showmg the manner of reinforcing the inclosing walls by aid of native rock backing; and

Fig. 5 is a lan view showm the manner oi -shale when the s ale is unac' companie by impervious confining top and bottom strata.

weave? In the drawings, Fig. 1 shows a main entrance tunnel 1 in a bed of oil-shale 2 lying between more or less impervious strata 3, 4. This tunnel is extended into the bed of shale and from it,la-teral corridors extend which are in turn cut by other corridors normal thereto, thereby leaving columns 8 of oil-shale between the ceiling and floor rock. Into each of these columns, blast holes are drilled and each hole is supplied with a light charge of explosive, as shown at 5 at the left of Fig. 2. These charges are connected by electric wires 6 to a source of current, such as deflagrating battery A, through a suitable switch 7. 9 is a brick wall built around the four sides of the oil-shale column 8 and spaced therefrom to permit a workman to enter and place a sheet-metal lining 10 against the wall. The lining and wall extend from the ceiling rock 3 to the floor rock 4 and make tight joints therewith. 11 is a gutter cut in the solid rock and given a fall to a central point from which an oil drain pipe 12, governed by cocks, leads to a suitable collecting tank or tanks not shown. 13 is a superheated steam supply pipe which is located at or near the base of the column of shale 8 and provided with one or more perforated branches for introducing steam which is superheated by means of a boiler 14. Connected with steam pipe 13 is a valved air supply pipe 16 passing through a heater 17 and designed to force highly heated air through pipe 13 into the oil-shale by aid of a pump. This pump can be used later for forcing water or air into the column to force or flood out the heavier products. 18 is an eduction pipe open near the top of the column inflthe walled space and connected with a condenser of conventional form and terminating in a separator from which the gaseous products are here shown conducted to a pump which supplies fuel to the furnace of the boiler. Gasolene and other products of condensation are drawn off through cock 19 and water containing ammonia through cock 20. A thermosensitive device 23 for indicating temperatures at a distance affords information to the stillman to guide him in conducting the operation.

The system thus far described operates in the following manner; Assume that a column of shale has been prepared as described above for distillation, and the entrance opening has been scaled up. The rcnding charge may be set off before the column is walled in or afterward. The force of the explosion is so regulated by the quantity of explosive as to form numerous crevices in the shale for penetration of heated fluid. By means of the pump, air is forced under pressure through furnace 17 where it is heated sufficiently to set up slow combustion ina localized portion of the shale column when inas gasolene and light oils,

till

til native position consisting in co m naearav troduced through pipe time is cut ofl.

lower part of the column is well started, air

is cut ofl and superheated steam is introduced through pipe 13. Asthe shale yields to destructive distillation, vapors and gases pass 0d through pipe or pipes 18 to the denser where the condensable portions, such are separated from the gas and water of condensation which latter contains the ammonia. The heavy oils which result from the treatment of the shale gravitate to the bottom of the column and may be driven out through pipe 12 by aid of air or steam under pressure or flushed out with water by, aid of the force pump.

The blasting with air and steam are repeated and the temperatures are controlled to conform to the indications of the temperatare-indicating device 24.

instead of heating the oil-shale by heated fluid alone, an electric source of heating, such as shown in Fig. 3, may he used either alone or in connection with the heated fluids. lhu

21 are provided and Current is supplied from lluel derived this case, electrodes 5|agre lonlated in the shale.

or a amo 22 b ower lromtli shale. y P c Fig. d is like Fig. 1, except that it shows a somewhat diflerent at of tunneling whereby each col oil shale may be surrounded with suppo rock 2" thereby aflording areta to a tor the brick wall on the four sides. Y

Fig. 5 shows the sys as applied to a thick bed of shale which is not associated with top and bottom roclr strata. The she itself constitutes the l sures of the inclos wall.

ile l have described the use of heated air and superheated steam as suitable for conducting the distilling operation oi the oil-shale, ll desire it to be understood that any highly heated fluid, either alo or mixed with other hly heated fluids, may b mployed in d i Hit the shale, such as hot furnace gases or the like.

Whilell have described the use oi imper vious walls built, tor ample, ol masonry for confining the oil-shale at dug distillation, ll may, where the oil shale itself entrances to the spaces surroung the columns shown in Fig. t. in other respects the operations are conducted in the maer described above. Y

What is claimed is l. The method of treating'oil-shale in its lll a m a, of said shale within an impervious w and subjecting said shale to heat to destrnetively distil the same and with the rlting pducts. s

suiting products.

"prising is suflciently impervious, omit such built' therein.

2. 'llhe method of treating oil-shale in its of d shale within an impervious wal opening up crevices in said body by exploding therein an explosive agent, and subjecting said shale to heat to destructively distil native osition consisting in confining a body 7 the same and withdrawing the resulting.

products.

3. The native position consisting in conlinin'g a body of said shale withinan impervious wall, introducing therein highly heated fluid to destructively distil the shale and withdrawing the resulting products.

l. 'lhe method of treating oil-shale in its native position consisting in coing abody of, said shale within an impervious wall, opening up crevices in said body by exploding therein an ex losive agent, and introducing therein hig y heated fluid to destruc-' tively distil the shale and withdrawing the resulting products.

5. The method of treating oil-shale in its native position consisting in surrounding a body of said shale with an impervious wall, opening up crevices in said body by exploding therein an explosive agent, heating a portion of said body to the point oi do structive distillation by introducing highly heated air, then introducing" thereat superheated steam and then withdrawing the reti. Apparatus for dist I i '1 a an impervious. wall adapted to surmethod of treating oilshale in itsg oil-shale com round a colu oi oil-shale in its native rock bed, means for-supplg heat to said inclosed shale, and means for conducting away the products formed.

7. Apparatus for distillingoil-shale com-. prising a wall having a removable metal lining" and-adapted to inclos'e 'a column-oi shale in its native rock bed, means for suppl heat to the shale within said wall,

and means tor conducting away the products termed therein. dflpparatus tor distg oil-shale comprising an impervious wall adapted 'toinlllh close a col oi oil-shale in its native rock bed and spaced away therelrom, means tor supplg heat to said inclosed shale, and means for withdrawing the products lormed 9.1 A system -tlor reducing d other products from P remog portions ol shale from said bed leavm a coin ct shale undisturbed, surroungsa'd coin with an .pervious wall d sulnecting the inclosed oil-shale colu to destructive distillation.

lil. d-syste lor produc products fhom an oil-shale he l Limp n ro' ortipns ol shale to said ed l on ol Sfl' lltl dons ol shale at M oil andother I lit an oil-shale bed consistin i rounding said columns, provideing each column with an impervious ,wall which is spaced therefrom and is reinforced b said surrounding rock, and subjecting sai con- 5 fined oil-shale to destructive distillation.

11. Apparatus for distilling oil-shale comprising an impervious wall adapted to inmean? close a column of said oil-shale,clectric heating means located within said inclosed shale, and means for removing the products formed 10 therein.

In testimony whereof I have signed this specification.

LEBBEUS H. ROGERS.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Classifications
U.S. Classification299/2, 299/19, 299/14
Cooperative ClassificationE21C41/24