Nuclear heat advances oil shale refining in situ

08/11/2008
Technological advances in producing and refining liquid fuels in situ using high-temperature heat from nuclear reactors can resolve two major problems—dependence on oil from unstable areas of the world and greenhouse gas emissions—says MIT nuclear engineer Charles W. Forsberg. In a presentation to the International Congress on Advanced Nuclear Power Plants (ICAPP 08) in June, Forsberg proposed the use of high-temperature heat (nearly 700° C.) from nuclear reactors to refine (underground) hydrocarbon feedstocks such as heavy oils, tar sands, oil shale, and coal to produce light distillates requiring little additional refining to produce gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Under...
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