TODAY’S PATENT – IN SITU RECOVERY FROM A HYDROCARBON CONTAINING FORMATION
The present invention pertains to systems and methods for producing hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or other products from hydrocarbon-containing formations. Some embodiments specifically relate to in situ conversion of hydrocarbons within underground formations to produce hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or other novel products.
In one specific embodiment, an oil shale formation is subjected to an in situ thermal process. This process involves applying heat to the formation to elevate the temperature of a portion of the formation to a pyrolysis temperature. The input of heat into the formation is controlled to increase the temperature of the portion at a chosen rate during the pyrolysis of hydrocarbons present in the formation. As a result, a mixture of hydrocarbons, hydrogen, and/or other fluids may be produced from the formation.
The invention was developed by Eric Pierre de Rouffignac and others and was registered by the USPTO on July 16th, 2013, under the serial number US8485252B2. The invention can be beneficial in efficiently producing hydrocarbons and hydrogen from hydrocarbon-containing formations, providing a new source of energy while also potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions.