Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

John Reasoner, John Riley, Laurence Boucher

Degree Program

Department of Chemistry

Degree Type

Master of Science


The Sunbury shale and the Cleveland member of the Ohio shale were studied utilizing the technique of analytical pyrolysis (pyrolysis gas chromatography). The effects of ceiling temperature, heating rate, and pyrolysis interval on the pyrolysis yield and relative product distribution for these eastern oil shales were observed. Carefully monitored pyrolysis of the shale allows separation of high and low volatile components and measurement of the relative peak areas in the pyrogram provides the yield of the high and low volatile fractions. Linear temperature ramps of 5000, 2000, and 100°C per second were employed. Ceiling temperatures of 450°C to 950°C and pyrolysis intervals of up to 20 seconds were probed. Some samples were repeatedly pulsed to obtain intervals of up to 120 seconds. Carbon-hydrogennitrogen and thermogravimetric analyses were also performed on the spent shale.

The preliminary data implies the following trends:

  1. The total smount of pyrolysis product increases with increasing ceiling temperature.

  2. The product molecular weight distribution decreases with increasing ceiling temperature and with increased rates of heating.

  3. Yield enhancement due to the effect of increased heatup rates seems to be greatest in the 650°to 750°C region.

  4. Lower ceiling temperatures require substantially longer pyrolysis intervals in order to obtain optimum yields.


Chemistry | Physical Sciences and Mathematics

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