The heat transfer to a single cylindrical sample of oil shale in a staggered tube bundle was studied both numerically and experimentally in order to evaluate the thermal and chemical processes associated with the retorting of oil shale in packed beds particular to in-situ processing. The cylinders were subjected to constant gas temperatures and to gas temperature histories experienced in an actual combustion retort. The results of the numerical modeling were compared with the experimental data in order to evaluate the model’s performance. It was found that the model satisfactorily described the thermal processes experienced during the combustion retorting of oil shale within the limits of the accuracy of published data on oil shale thermal properties and chemical kinetics. Net heat transfer to cylindrical oil shale samples in a staggered bundle configuration was also calculated and was shown to nearly duplicate published data related to gas-solid heat transfer in a packed bed combustion retort.

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