The ApocaDocs Logo: the Deaths-head Jester

[The Project]
[The ApocaDocs]
[Equal Share]
The Six Scenarios:
[Species Collapse]
[Infectious Disease]
[Climate Chaos]
[Resource Depletion]
[Biology Breach]


It's weekly, funny, and free!


More than 6,000 stories!

A great gift
for crisis deniers!

The ApocaDocs have a Book!
Humoring the Horror of the
Converging Emergencies
94 color pages
$24.99 now $15!
Or read FREE online!


Ping this story
in social media:

Posted Thu Aug 4 2011: from Technology Review:
New Process Could Make Canadian Oil Cheaper, Cleaner
New technology for extracting oil from oil sands could more than double the amount of oil that can be extracted from these abundant deposits. It could also reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from the process by up to 85 percent. The technology was developed by N-Solv, an Alberta-based consortium that recently received $10 million from the Canadian government to develop the technology.... The idea of using solvents to get at oil sands was proposed in the 1970s, but early experiments showed that the process couldn't produce oil quickly enough. Two things changed that, according to N-Solv. First, horizontal drilling technologies now make it possible to run a solvent injection well along the length of an oil sands deposit, increasing the area in contact with the solvent, thus increasing production. Second, N-Solv determined that even small amounts of methane--a by-product of using a solvent--could contaminate the propane and degrade its performance. So N-Solv introduced purification equipment to separate methane from the propane before it is reused. The separated methane can also be used to heat the propane, further reducing energy costs. N-Solv's process requires less energy because it uses a solvent rather than steam to free the oil, says Murray Smith, a member of N-Solv's board of directors. The solvent, such as propane, is heated to a relatively low temperature (about 50 deg C) and injected into a bitumen deposit. The solvent breaks down the bitumen, allowing it to be pumped out along with the propane, which can be reused. The solvent approach requires less energy than heating, pumping, and recycling water for steam. And because the heaviest components of the bitumen remain underground, the oil that results from the solvent process needs to be refined less before it can be transported in a pipeline.
[Read more stories about: oil issues, efficiency increase, fracking, carbon emissions]

Your Quips:
Byron says: "Now, if only we can work out a way to make the extraction of methane hydrates cost effective, we'll really be able to set some heat records!"

Got a PaniQuip?

Your Quip (limit 140 characters, no links, just wit):

First name:

The text shown in the Web image to the right:

We reserve the right to reuse, remove, or refuse any entry.

'Doc Jim says:
Is cognitive dissonance is the sound of three hands clapping?
On the one hand, great! On the other hand, fracking! On the third hand, enabling continued carbon emissions!

More stories:
  • Arctic ice cap near 2007 record minimum: Russia
  • The too-smart-for-its-own-good grid
  • (New Process Could Make Canadian Oil Cheaper, Cleaner)
  • Record breaking UK spring due to warm weather
  • Crop breeding could 'slash CO2 levels'

  • Want to explore more?
    Try the PaniCloud!
    Copyright 2010 The