Liquid fuels from in-situ thermal processing of oil shale & oil sands
In-situ technologies are currently being explored because of their potential for reducing the environmental footprint of oil shale/sands development. However, the first generation technologies have proven to be energy-intensive, and many unknowns remain relative to optimal heating strategies, potential contamination of groundwater, and achievable production rates. The objective of this research is to create models and simulation tools that shall apply to all in-situ thermal processes. Practitioners could then use the tools to optimize their process for energy efficiency, to evaluate various heating strategies, etc. This objective shall be achieved by gathering experimental laboratory data for model validation on multiple scales, by developing the simulation tools necessary to capture the relevant physical processes, and by performing validation and uncertainty quantification for specific laboratory and pilot-scale systems.