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An evaluation of the fire and explosion hazards of oil shale mining and processing. Volume 1: analytical studies and accident scenarios.

Crookston RB; Atwood MT; Williams RE; McGuire MD
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Contract J0275001, 1983 Jul; :1-268
The objectives of this research were to identify and evaluate potential fire and explosion hazards in oil shale mining and processing by laboratory testing to provide recommendations for mitigation and safety monitoring and to establish a basis for regulation. A series of scenarios were developed describing hypothetical fire and explosion incidents that might occur in oil shale mining. The objectives were achieved through the following accomplishments. (1) It was found that fire and explosion properties of oil shale increase with oil shale richness and decreasing particle size. (2) Data from dust loading studies in several mines showed that the total potential yield of combustibles was about one- tenth the amount required to fuel a propagating explosion. (3) Aging of oil shale dusts over a period of several years reduces the content of volatile combustibles and the corresponding fire and explosion properties. (4) Data and information from the completed program indicate that the hazard of dust explosions is less severe than the hazard of fire in mine muck piles. Laboratory data were used to relate fire and explosivity properties of oil shales to those of coals and other carbonaceous materials and to assist in the identification and evaluation of potential hazardous situations that may be encountered in oil shale mining and processing.
Oil-shale; Mining; Fires; Explosions; Hazards; Safety; Accidents; Combustion; Dust
Publication Date
Document Type
CP; Final Contract Report
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
OFR 12(1)-85; Contract-J0275001
NIOSH Division
Source Name
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, Contract J0275001
Performing Organization
Tosco Corporation, Los Angeles, California
Page last reviewed: November 12, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division