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Kazakhstan will start making oil from coal

28 june 2012, 22:47
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©REUTERS
©REUTERS
Kazakhstan scientists have developed a new technology of oil production from coal, Valentina Yemelyanova, project manager and deputy director of the Scientific-Research Institute of New Chemical Technologies and Materials of Al-Farabi Kazakh State University told Tengrinews.kz.

The Kazakhstan invention allows to synthesize oil from coal by adding hydrogen. The synthesis process uses accelerants and a relatively low pressure, around 50atm. Foreign scientists make synthetic oil at the pressure of around 300atm that's why Kazakhstan's technology will allow to significantly decrease energy consumption during the synthesis.

Yemelyanova added that Kazakhstan's coal reserves greatly exceed its oil reserves. 80 percent of the organic fuel recoverable from the subsoil is represented by coal. According to the scientists, the cost of the synthetic oil should not exceed that of the natural one.

Professor of the Department of Physical Chemistry, Catalysis and Oil Chemistry Zhaksyntai Kairbekov added that the quality of the synthetic oil is as good as that of the natural one, and even better by some parameters. For example, the octane ratio makes around 50-60 in natural oil, while it is 80-100 in synthetic one.

The scientists add that they have also designed projects of industrial oil synthesizing units. The costs of implementation of the technology may be recouped in 1.5 years. The plant with the capacity of up to 200 tons of oil per day will cost around $6 million. Production of synthetic oil is zero waste. Coal blocks produced after the synthesis may also be used as fuel. The emitted gases are used as fuel for synthesis that takes place at the temperature of around 400 degrees Centigrade. The technology has been successfully tested on a pilot unit.

The developers believe that this technology will be implemented in Kazakhstan in spite of its vast oil reserves. They base their opinion on the fact that the natural oil reserves in Kazakhstan are shrinking fairly quickly and the searching for its competitive alternative will arise sooner or later.

The scientists have received a grant from the state budget for further development and implementation of their technology.


By Dmitriy Khegai

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