In this paper, the basic principle and features of the process carried out in a Sanjiang(SJ)-type rectangular pilot-scale retort have been described. The suitability of the SJ retort for processing oil shale from Yaojie (YJ) county, Gansu province, China was investigated to find optimal conditions for an effective recovery of shale oil. The pyrolysis of lump YJ oil shale was carried out in the SJ pilot retort with a daily processing capacity of 24 tons of oil shale. It was found that the heat value of the pyrolysis gas produced from YJ oil shale was sufficient to provide the heat needed for retorting. The pyrolysis temperature fluctuated between 550 and 700 oC, with an average of 610 oC. The results of the study demonstrate that the shale oil yield from YJ oil shale is high, accounting for about 85% vs. Fisher assay. The shale oil consists mainly of diesel and heavy fractions, and the spent shale is of high calorific value.
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