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Water-jet-assisted Mechanized Oil Shale Mining Factory Test.

Kogelmann WJ; Thimons ED; Virgona JE; Weakly LA
22D Oil Shale Symp Proc Colorado School of Mines Golden Colorado 1989 :56-77
The U.S. Department of Energy's Grand Junction Projects Office is participating in a $1.5 million cooperative agreement with Alpine Equipment Corp./Astro International Corp. (Alpine) of State College, Pennsylvania, to evaluate the water-jet-assisted (WJA) mechanical cutting of oil shale under actual mining conditions. Alpine has designed a commercial-sized WJA mechanized mining machine for testing in 1989. Field testing of the machine will be conducted at the Exxon Company, USA, Colony Pilot Oil Shale Mine located in the Piceance Basin of western Colorado. Additional support will be provided by the U.S. Bureau of Mines Pittsburgh Research Center and oil shale companies, through the Colorado Mining Association. The physical characteristics of oil shale make conventional mechanized production mining methods impractical by causing excessive machine vibration, high bit-wear rates, and excessive dust generation. Current mechanical excavation methods for oil shale are less efficient and more costly than the traditional drill-and-blast methods. However, conventional drill-and-blast methods have limitations imposed by excessive rock damage and regulatory considerations. By improving mechanical excavation technologies, oil shale could be more competitive with other energy sources. An evaluation under actual mining conditions will provide field data that can be utilized by the private sector to develop and commercialize WJA mechanized mining equipment to mine oil shale. The WJA roadheader field tests on coal have shown that high-pressure water jets increase cutter life and reduce ventilat
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
OP 186-89
NIOSH Division
Source Name
22D Oil Shale Symp. Proc., Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado, 1989, PP. 56-77
Page last reviewed: November 26, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division