Natural Resources Research

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 91–97 | Cite as

Upgrading of Oil Shale by Flotation Without Collector

  • S. E. El-MoftyEmail author
  • N. Khairy
  • A. M. El-Kammar
  • A. A. El-Midany
Original Paper


Oil shale impurities prevent its direct usage as a source of energy. Removing or reducing of these impurities before retorting can reduce the cost of oil shale processing. In that regard, pretreatment of oil shale by flotation represents one of the favorable solutions. Therefore, in this work, (a) microscopic examinations were carried out to study the mineralogical characteristics of oil shale sample and (b) flotation of oil shale was used to separate organic matter (kerogen) from associating gangue by adjusting the flotation pH, stirring speed and pulp density without adding a collector. The results of oil shale characterization showed that kerogen content in the studied sample was 10%, while the results of flotation experiments proved the possibility of oil shale upgrading to about 20% kerogen with recovery reaching to more than 70%.


Oil shale Kerogen Flotation Collectorless 



The authors are grateful to the General Administration of Scientific Research—Cairo University for funding the project entitled “Maximum utilization of oil shale deposits of Egypt”.


  1. Al-Harahsheh, A., Al-Harahsheh, M., Al-Otoom, A., & Allawzi, M. (2009). Effect of demineralization of El-lajjun Jordanian oil shale on oil yield. Fuel Processing Technology, 90, 818–824.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Otoom, A. Y. (2008). An investigation into beneficiation of Jordanian El-Lajjun oil shale by froth flotation. Oil Shale, 25, 247–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alstadt, K. N., Katti, D. R., & Katti, Kalpana S. (2012). FTIR step-scan photo acoustic investigation of kerogen and minerals in oil shale. Spectrochimica Acta Part A, 89, 105–113.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Altun, N. E., Cahit, Hicyilmaz, Jiann-Yang, Hwang, & Suat, Bagci A. (2006). Evaluation of a Turkish low quality oil shale by flotation as a clean energy source: Material characterization and determination of flotation behavior. Fuel Processing Technology, 87, 783–791.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Arnold, A. N., Smith, H. N., Heady, H. H., & Robinson, W. E. (1952). Concentrating Kerogen in Colorado oil shale by treatment with acetic acid and gravity separation. Bureau of Mines.Google Scholar
  6. Dyni, J. R. (2006). Geology and resources of some world oil shale deposits. Scientific Investigations Report, United States Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey.Google Scholar
  7. Dyni, J. R. (2010). Oil shale. In A. W. Clarke & J. A. Trinnaman (Eds.), Survey of energy resources, 22 edn (pp. 93–123). World Energy Council.Google Scholar
  8. Groppo, J. G., & Parekh, B. K. (1993). Column flotation studies of Alabama oil shale. Minerals and Metallurgical Processing, 191–194.Google Scholar
  9. Khairy, N. (2013). Upgrading of oil shale by flotation. M.Sc. thesis, Faculty of Engineering, Cairo University.Google Scholar
  10. Koel, M. (1999). Estonian oil shale. Oil Shale. A Scientific-Technical Journal (Estonian Academy Publishers).Google Scholar
  11. Muhammad, A. F., EL Salmawy, M. S., Abdelaala, A. M., & Sameah, S. (2011). El-Nakheil oil shale: Material characterization and effect of acid leaching. Oil Shale, 28, 528–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Porto, I. M., Saiani, R. A., Chan, K. L., Kazarian, S. G., Gerlach, R. F., & Bachmann, L. (2010). Organic and inorganic content measured by FTIR spectroscopy. Spectrochimica Acta Part A, 77, 59–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Rapier, R. (2006). Oil Shale Development Imminent, R-Squared Energy Blog, 2006-0612.Google Scholar
  14. Schultz, C. W., Bates, J. B., & Lamont, W. E. (1989). Column flotation of eastern oil shales. In Oil shale symposium, Lexington, Kentucky, 15–17 November, pp. 425–430.Google Scholar
  15. Tsai, S. C., & Lumpkin, R. E. (1984). Oil shale beneficiation by froth flotation. Fuel, 63, 435–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. William, E. L., & Hanna, H. S. (1983). Beneficiation of the kerogen content of Eastern Devonian shales by flotation techniques. In SME-AIME annual meeting Atlanta, Georgia, March 6–10.Google Scholar
  17. Youngquist, W. (1998). Shale oil—the elusive energy, Hubbert Center Newsletter (Colorado School of Mines), (4).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. E. El-Mofty
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. Khairy
    • 1
  • A. M. El-Kammar
    • 2
  • A. A. El-Midany
    • 1
  1. 1.Mining, Petroleum, and Metallurgy Department, Faculty of EngineeringCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Geology Department, Faculty of ScienceCairo UniversityGizaEgypt

Personalised recommendations