ICP Shale Test Site

Research Outline

Oil shale, tar sands, and coal- and natural gas-based synthetic fuels are seen as backstop resources, or resources that will be relied upon when conventional reserves of oil are depleted. Unfortunately, these resources typically have higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels. This research focuses on understanding and mitigating these emissions impacts.



Greenhouse gas impacts of oil substitutes

*Brandt, A.R. (2011). Variability and uncertainty in life cycle assessment models for greenhouse gas emissions from Canadian oil sands production. In review: Environmental Science & Technology.

*Brandt, A.R. (2011). Upstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Canadian oil sands as a feedstock for European refineries. Prepared for European Commission.

*Mulchandani, H, A. Brandt (2011). Oil shale as an energy resource in a CO2 constrainted world: The concept of electricity production with in situ carbon capture. Energy & Fuels. DOI: 10.1021/ef101714x

*Brandt, A.R., S. Unnasch (2010). Energy intensity and greenhouse gas emissions from thermal enhanced oil recovery. Energy & Fuels. DOI: 10.1021/ef100410f

*Yeh, S., S.M. Jordaan, A.R. Brandt, M. Turetsky, S. Spatari (2010). Land use greenhouse gas emissions from conventional and unconventional oil production. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es1013278

*Lemoine, D.M., R.J. Plevin, A.S.Cohn, A.D. Jones, A.R. Brandt, S.E. Vergara, D.M. Kammen (2010). The climate impacts of bioenergy systems depend on market and regulatory contexts. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es100418p

*Brandt, A.R., J. Boak, and A.K. Burnham (2010). Carbon dioxide emissions from oil shale derived liquid fuels, in Oil shale: A solution to the liquid fuels dilemma, O. Ogunsola, Editor. ACS Symposium Series 1032. American Chemical Society: Washington, D.C. DOI: 10.1021/bk-2010-1032.ch011

*Brandt, A.R. (2009). Converting oil shale to liquid fuels with the Alberta Taciuk Processor: Energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions. Energy & Fuels. DOI: 10.1021/ef900678d

*Brandt, A.R. (2008). Converting oil shale to liquid fuels: Energy inputs and greenhouse gas emissions of the Shell in situ conversion process. Environmental Science & Technology 42(19) 7489-7495. DOI: 10.1021/es800531f

General discussion of environmental impacts of the oil transition:

Farrell, A.E., A. R. Brandt, S. Arons (2008). The race for 21st century auto fuels. In Physics of Sustainable Energy: Using Energy Efficiently and Producing it Renewably. D. Hafemeister, B. Levi, M. Levine and P. Schwartz, eds. American Institute of Physics: 235-250.

*Brandt, A.R. and A.E. Farrell (2007). Scraping the bottom of the barrel: CO2 emission consequences of a transition to low-quality and synthetic petroleum resources. Climatic Change, 84(3-4):241-263. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-007-9275-y

*Farrell A.E. and A.R. Brandt (2006). Risks of the oil transition. Environmental Research Letters, 2006. 1(1). DOI:10.1088/1748-9326/1/1/014004

Download supplementary information and references for "Risks" Figure 1

Download "Risks" Figure 1

*Denotes peer-reviewed paper

Conference Presentations

Brandt A.R. (2007). "Converting Green River oil shale to liquid fuels with ATP and ICP technologies: Life-cycle comparison of energy efficiency and GHG emissions." 27th Oil Shale Symposium. Colorado School of Mines, October 17th, 2007.

Brandt, A.R. and A.E. Farrell (2005). "Scraping the bottom of the barrel: CO2 emission consequences of a transition to low-quality and synthetic petroleum resources." 25th Annual North American Conference of the International Association for Energy Economics. Denver, Colorado, September 19th, 2005.


Press and Other Links

A short piece on oil shale in Environmental Science & Technology featuring my work on oil shale.

A Letter to the New York Times in response to Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer's editorial on Coal-to-liquids technology.

An article in the New Yorker about tar sands development, includes description of my research with Alex Farrell.


Updated: August 18, 2011