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EDITORIAL

J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):261. doi:10.1115/1.3230848.
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Abstract
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

RESEARCH PAPERS

J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):262-264. doi:10.1115/1.3230849.

The world’s first full-scale fluidized bed reactor co-disposal facility located at the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District’s (WLSSD) central waste-water treatment complex in Duluth, Minnesota, began its shakedown operation in the fall of 1979. The authors present herein basic design criteria, a system description, November 1979 system status, and areas of operational concern.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):265-269. doi:10.1115/1.3230850.

The use of small modular incinerator systems for solid waste disposal and energy recovery in municipal and industrial applications is studied. The technical evaluation presented herein is based on the results of three 1-wk field tests at each of two sites. Test data were used to calculate the following for each system: a mass balance, an energy balance, the heat recovery efficiency, the environmental effects, and the overall effectiveness of the system as a solid waste disposal facility. As a result of a nationwide survey, two facilities which best satisfied selection criteria were chosen. These selection criteria included that the sites consist of modular incinerators with heat recovery having a capacity of 50 tons (45 t) or less per day and that the systems be representative of current technology, designs, and operational procedures. The two facilities selected for this study included a municipal incinerator plant with a Consumat system in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and an industrial incinerator facility with a Kelley system in the plant of the Truck Axle Division of the Rockwell International Corporation in Marysville, Ohio. Since the two systems differ in many respects and operate on dissimilar waste streams, direct comparisons of the two systems are not included.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):270-276. doi:10.1115/1.3230851.

Mathematical models for predicting gas performance of Devonian gas shale reservoirs can be divided into two groups: single and dual porosity models. Further, two dual porosity models have been developed. Although the shale matrix is known to contain a large quantity of gas, it is not known what fraction can be produced economically. No conclusive evidence in support of the various model concepts is given, but the information in this paper will facilitate comparison of existing models. Area requiring further study in order to advance current modeling technology are discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):277-284. doi:10.1115/1.3230852.

For a first in the United States, a 900-ft (275-m) deep, 6-ft (2-m) thick, swelling, eastern bituminous coal has been gasified successfully in situ. Under the direction of Morgantown Energy Technology Center, the relatively small-scale field test, Pricetown I, affected the equivalent of approximately 735 tons (665 t) of a high-sulfur, high-ash section of the Pittsburgh coal seam near Pricetown, Wetzel County, West Virginia, during the 4-mo burn. A methane rich gas with an average heating value greater than 200 Btu/cf (7450 KJ/m3 ) was produced at low flow rates during operations to enhance the coal seam permeability by reverse combustion. During the high-flow gasification phase, a gas with an average heating value of 124 Btu/cf (4260 KJ/m3 ) was produced resulting in an average energy production of 510.9 MMBtu/day (539.1 GJ/d). Initial test results and plans for continued development of this alternative energy source are discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):285-290. doi:10.1115/1.3230853.

The theory of enhanced oil recovery by surfactant flooding (micellarpolymer and “low-tension” floods) is based on three premises: that the chemical slug is 1) less mobile than the crude oil, 2) miscible with the reservoir fluids (oil and brine), and 3) stable over long periods of time (years) in the reservoir environment. We report here a rather simple process in which none of these expensive and exacting requirements have to be met. In this process, relatively small amounts of “EOR-active” substances present in certain petroleum-based sulfonates are found to recover 15–20 percent of the residual oil from waterflooded Berea sandstone cores. The chemicals are injected in the form of slugs of their aqueous solutions. If the chemical slugs are followed with similar slugs of additives such as partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide, acrylamide monomer, urea, EDTA, or anions such as P2 O7 ⁗ and PO4 ‴ , the oil recovery is increased 30–40 percent of the in-place residual oil. The concentrations of the “active” sulfonate and additive in their respective slugs appear to be of the order of 500 ppm or less. Extrapolation of the laboratory data to field conditions indicate that chemical requirements for the recovery of a barrel of tertiary oil are about 0.5–2 lb of sulfonate and a like amount of additive. The main features of the displacement process are: 1) Oil recovery is independent of oil viscosity in the tested range of 0.4–100 cps. 2) The process is essentially an immiscible displacement in which oil recovery depends on the amount of active chemical in the slug and not its concentration. 3) Tertiary oil is produced in the form of a clean “oil bank” and the buildup of a residual oil saturation at the producing end of linear cores occurs during the flood. From the data on hand, it is apparent that the oil recovery mechanism differs basically in character from the conventional Buckley-Leverett-type immiscible displacement. The low level concentrations of sulfonate and additive involved, and the independence of oil recovery with respect to oil viscosity suggest that the recovery mechanism is possibly actuated by certain specific functional groups in the structure of the EOR-active molecule or its anion, and of the additive. The results hold great potential for developing a simple and economical tertiary oil recovery process that can recover, very substantially, more oil (light as well as moderately viscous) than is now considered possible by conventional chemical floods.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):291-295. doi:10.1115/1.3230856.

Recent interest in geothermal energy development has contributed to the advance in the modeling of nonisothermal flows, especially of the two-phase, steam-water phenomena. In this paper, the key processes associated with a geothermal energy reservoir are described and the current approaches are pointed out. The state-of-the-art of geothermal modeling is reviewed by comparing the governing equations, numerical methods, code availability, validations, and applications of several selected major existing models. The needs for further studies are discussed.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):296-300. doi:10.1115/1.3230857.

Thermal recovery models for oil recovery consist of steam injection and in-situ combustion simulators. At the present time, steam injection simulators have been developed to a point where it is possible to reliably simulate portions of a fieldwide flood. Cyclic steam stimulation simulation still entails a number of questionable assumptions. Formation parting cannot be simulated in either case. In-situ combustion simulators lack the capability for front tracking. Even though the models are rather sophisticated, process mechanism description and input data are inadequate.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):301-306. doi:10.1115/1.3230858.

The modeling requirements for geopressured-geothermal reservoir analysis are discussed and demonstrated in this paper. Compaction effects, reservoir hetereogeneities, localized gas evolution, and shale dewatering mechanisms are implemented into a specific model. Applications which demonstrate the potential sensitivity of reservoir pressure-production behavior to these mechanisms are illustrated.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):307-317. doi:10.1115/1.3230859.

The heat transfer to a single cylindrical sample of oil shale in a staggered tube bundle was studied both numerically and experimentally in order to evaluate the thermal and chemical processes associated with the retorting of oil shale in packed beds particular to in-situ processing. The cylinders were subjected to constant gas temperatures and to gas temperature histories experienced in an actual combustion retort. The results of the numerical modeling were compared with the experimental data in order to evaluate the model’s performance. It was found that the model satisfactorily described the thermal processes experienced during the combustion retorting of oil shale within the limits of the accuracy of published data on oil shale thermal properties and chemical kinetics. Net heat transfer to cylindrical oil shale samples in a staggered bundle configuration was also calculated and was shown to nearly duplicate published data related to gas-solid heat transfer in a packed bed combustion retort.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):318-321. doi:10.1115/1.3230860.

Methanol-coal slurries are known to behave as homogeneous non-Newtonian suspensions. Darby has shown that the Casson and Bingham models reasonably describe the rheology of methanol-lignite slurries. Theoretical methods are available for predicting critical velocities for Bingham model slurries, but none exist for Casson model slurries. Theoretical equations and design curves are derived and presented for Casson model slurries. These are based upon a proven general theory for transition critical velocities. These results are the essential first phase of a coordinated theory-based design method for transitional and turbulent flow of methanol-coal slurries and any other slurries having Casson-model rheology.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):322-329. doi:10.1115/1.3230861.

Several long-distance, high-volume coal slurry transportation systems are planned or proposed for the United States. These new systems offer a method of transport that is both economical and environmentally attractive. The design of these systems will be a challenge to the pipeline engineer since an integrated, system design of several components is necessary to achieve an optimum overall effect. The pipeline, pump stations, instrumentation and controls, slurry preparation, and utilization facilities must all be considered in the design. The purpose of this paper is to describe the system components of a large coal slurry transportation system in detail and to show the special design considerations required for the overall system design considering the interrelationships of the various components.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):330-335. doi:10.1115/1.3230862.

This paper describes the results of an experimental investigation of the penetration of oil sands by continuous and pulsed high-pressure water jets. Both laboratory and field tests were carried out to determine the influence of the jet dynamic pressure, nozzle diameter, pulse frequency, and total jetting time upon the depth of penetration.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):336-343. doi:10.1115/1.3230863.

Well bore stresses induced by inflatable packers during hydraulic fracturing operations are investigated. The geologic formation is modeled as an unbounded homogeneous isotropic linear elastic solid containing an infinitely long circular cavity, while the packer is modeled as a semi-infinite thin-walled circular cylindrical shell. For given packer properties, these induced stresses are shown to depend on the difference between packer pressure and fracturing pressure and can become significant. Typical numerical results are obtained and presented graphically. Analytical approximations for the maximum values of these stresses are also presented. While these effects are of no importance in the usual application of hydraulic fracturing to enhance oil and gas recovery, they are crucial in attempts to estimate in-situ stresses from hydraulic fracturing pressure data.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):344-351. doi:10.1115/1.3230864.

Sources of biomass fuels for engines are compared to other synfuels. Biomass can be converted to gaseous and liquid engine fuels by the same processes utilized for coal conversion such as gasification, direct liquefaction, and indirect liquefaction. Alternatively, biomass can be converted into liquid fuels by fermentation to methane or ethanol. The quantities of biomass-derived engine fuels potentially available in the next decade are relatively small, and the anticipated costs are significantly greater than for liquid engine fuels made from coal or oil shale.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

ERRATA

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

TECHNICAL BRIEFS

J. Energy Resour. Technol. 1981;103(4):352-354. doi:10.1115/1.3230865.
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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