For retorting of oil shale, the primary elements are handling of large quantities of crushed shale, in a satisfactory manner for good heat exchange, through a suitable retorting vessel; generation of the necessary heat at the temperatures required for retorting; controlled exchange of heat to the shale in the amount required for retorting; passage of a carrier fluid through the retorting shale to pick up the retorted oil; and further passage of this carrier fluid with the retorted oil through suitable equipment to separate and recover the oil from the fluid stream. Of the processes tested experimentally by the Bureau of Mines at Rifle, Colo., the gas-combustion process is most efficient and most economical in operation. No water is required. The simplicity of the design, the gravity flow of shale through the retort, the heat-exchange zones to keep all practicable heat within the retort, and the few simple mechanical devices make this retort both low in construction cost and most economical in operation.

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