Unconventional Fuels

Unconventional Fuels

An unconventional fuel is one that cannot be recovered in its natural state by ordinary production methods. Thermal treatment or a diluent is typically required before production can occur. ISCE research in unconventional fuels is focused on liquid fuels from oil shale and oil sands as well as substitute natural gas (SNG) from high carbon content, deep coal resources that are currently known but unrecoverable. New laboratory/field datasets and appropriate simulation tools are needed to better understand the implementation of underground (in situ) thermal treatment processes that could lead to production from these resources. ICSE is ideally located geographically to study these fuels. In addition to coal resources that are currently exploited for power production, Utah has the largest oil sands deposits in the U.S. and oil shale deposits that are second only to Colorado in size.


Milind Deo

Reservoir modeling, oil shale pyrolysis


Jennifer Spinti

Economic & environmental assessment


Eric Eddings

Underground coal thermal treatment


Lauren Birgenheier

Oil shale geology


Philip Smith

High performance computing for oil shale applications


Michal Hradisky

Oil shale & oil sands modeling

Unconventional Fuels Project Sites:



Address   155 South 1452 East
Room 350
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Phone (801) 585-1233
Email icsewebmaster@utah.edu


The mission of ICSE is education through interdisciplinary research on high-temperature fuel utilization processes for energy generation, and associated environmental, health, policy, and performance issues.