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Detailed characterization of shale oils can provide invaluable information for refining into a saleable product. To provide this type of information, an acidic and a basic fraction were obtained from an eastern and western shale oil. The fractions were analyzed using 70-eV high-resolution electron impact and low resolution field ionization mass spectrometry. Comparison of the analytical data shows striking differences between the compositions of acids and bases for the eastern and western shale oils. The eastern shale acids are primarily benzoic acids and phenols, whereas, the western shale acids contain high concentrations of benzoic and long-chain carboxylic acids. Differences in the base fractions appear in the number of carbons exocyclic to the basic nucleus and in the size of the nitrogen containing nucleus with as many as six aromatic rings. In contrast, the western bases have a larger number of carbons exocyclic to a specific nucleus with the nucleus having fewer aromatic rings. The presence of these compound types has serious refining implications since their presence could complicate a simple hydrogenation/hydrogenolysis upgrading using present refinery technology.
shale oil, instrumental methods of analysis, acid fraction, base fraction
Senior research chemist, Phillips Petroleum Co., Bartlesville, OK