The sorptive behavior of organic compounds on retorted oil shale

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Oil shale is a valuable natural resource of oil. The United States has only 5% of the known world reserves of recoverable crude oil and about 73% of the known world reserves of recoverable oil shale. Before there can be full-scale commercial development of oil shale, the problems associated with the large amounts of wastes generated by the processing of the shale must be solved. The wastes have a complex chemical matrix. It is felt that the spent shale can be used as a sorbent to either treat or pretreat the contaminated process waters or could be codisposed with the process waters, Quite extensive work has been done in exploring this alternative with respect to inorganic constituents, but that with organic constituents has been mainly restricted to the measurement of total organic carbon. This study was done to base the analysis of the suitability of the spent shale as a sorbent upon individual compounds so that a more fundamental understanding could be obtained as to how families of compounds behave.