Analytical Services

Our commitment to furthering the research and development of the oil shale industry
STIS Analytical Services

Analytical services STIS can perform on your resource

MFA (Modified Fischer Assay)

Per ASTM D 3904-90 – Standard Test Method for Oil From Oil Shale (Resource evaluation by the Fisher Assay Procedure).  This procedure is commonly called the Modified Fisher Assay, or MFA, and is the standard by which shale resources are evaluated.

An oil shale sample is crushed and heated to 500°C in 40 minutes and then held at temperature for 40 minutes.  The evolved oil vapor and water are condensed in a cooled graduated centrifuge tube.  The oil yields achieved by Paraho II™ and other technologies are often reported as a percentage of the Fischer Assay oil yield.

When evaluating your resource you need look no further than STIS’ EPECO 12-oven MFA Bench. Our experienced staff has performed thousands of tests utilizing industry standard ASTM D3904-90.

Additional services STIS can perform in support of a full R&D program

Gas Analysis

STIS uses the Agilent 6890 GC and the Agilent 490 MicroGC Refinery Gas Analyzers to test your resource’s product gas for H2, O2, N2, CO, H2S, CO2 and C1-C5 plus higher chain length hydrocarbons. The accurate determination of the types and concentrations of these molecules will help determine the value of your resource.

TGA (Thermogravimetric Analysis)

Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) can be used to measure your shale oil’s weight loss as a function of time and temperature.

At STIS we use the Perkin Elmer TGA 4000 to conduct our TGA.

API Gravity

The American Petroleum Institute gravity, or API gravity, is a measure of how heavy or light a petroleum liquid is compared to water.  STIS uses the Anton Paar DMA 4500 to measure the API gravity of both product oil and Modified Fischer Assay (MFA) oil at 15°C. The API gravity often varies for different shale blends; therefore, it is important to know the API gravity of the product oil to calculate yields, as well as to ascertain the correct gallons per ton (GPT) oil during the MFA.

Pour Point

STIS will determine the pour point of your shale oil using the method prescribed by ASTM D-97.

Moisture Analysis

STIS will perform tests to determine the percent of moisture in your resource.

Particle Size Distribution

The size and distribution of the individual shale particles before they enter the retort can have a dramatic effect on the quantity and characteristics of the oil your resource will produce.  STIS can work with you through a crushing and testing campaign to determine the optimum PSD for your resource.