At present, energy in Estonia is still mainly produced from oil shale because the alternatives do not yet generate the required volumes. The production of oil shale energy generates up to 1 million tonnes of ash waste every year and by valorising this, we can contribute significantly to the reduction of the environmental footprint of our energy generation as a solution which is necessary today. A cleaner living environment in Ida-Viru County and throughout Estonia.
The oil shale industry has left its mark on the natural environment of Ida-Viru County over the last decades. Ragn-Sells does not promise that the ash hills will disappear overnight, but the solution to be developed by the company would considerably reduce the emergence of ash hills.
Via the Applied Research Programme of Enterprise Estonia, the state is set to provide 1.7 million euros in support for the applied research to be carried out as part of the second stage of the oil shale ash enhancement project of Ragn-Sells OSA.
Tarkett, a world leader in flooring and sports surface solutions, and Ragn-Sells have signed a Letter of Intent with the objective of jointly developing carbon negative material loops.
The oil shale upcycling project developed in Estonia by the environment company Ragn Sells will be presented on four stages at the COP26 climate conference held in Glasgow next week - at the European Union, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Nordic countries and global climate organisation We Don’t Have Time pavilions.
We are pleased to announce that Enterprise Estonia has supported applied research in Ragn-Sells’s OSA project in the amount of 255,269 Euros. The support helps us to carry out industrial-scale trials of production of climate-neural calcium carbonate from oil shale ash and design the preliminary version of the production processes and production unit.
In cooperation with Engineering Bureau STEIGER and University of Tartu scientists, Ragn-Sells has taken core samples from an oil shale ash hill in Ida-Viru County for the purpose of gathering information that will support further research into valorizing the older layers of the deposited ash.
On 29 June, the representatives of Ragn-Sells AS met with the representatives of the local government, entrepreneurs and people of Narva-Jõesuu to introduce the idea of a plant based on an innovative oil shale ash valorisation process which will help to significantly reduce the environmental impact of oil shale ash in the future. The company plans to file an application for the initiation of a special spatial plan to the local government soon.
Synthetic calcium carbonate represents the biggest share of the materials produced from oil shale ash. The food and pharmaceutical sectors are the best examples of industries in which natural calcium carbonate is used. As this material originates from the manufacturing industry, the calcium carbonate produced from the oil shale ash of Ida-Viru County will most probably be used as a filler in the paint, plastic and paper industry.
Environmental company Ragn-Sells AS submitted an application to the Estonian Patent Office to request patents for its innovative oil shale ash valorisation process, which makes it possible to reprocess the majority of the ash waste created in energy generation in Estonia into materials.
Oil shale is a black or brown fine-grained sedimentary rock containing kerogen. Oil shale consists of organic matter that has not fully degraded (up to 70%) and various minerals. Organic matter usually consists of kerogen, which is formed from the degradation of algae or bacteria. The quantity of oil shale ash generated in a year is 15 times bigger than the quantity of municipal waste. The use of oil shale generates large quantities of waste products – ash and semi-coke. For example, approximately 5 to 7 million tonnes of ash and a million tonnes of semi-coke is generated in Estonia every year at the current pace, and only a very small amount of it is recovered.
The Archimedes Foundation supports the scientific research of the technology required for the treatment of oil shale ashes that environmental company AS Ragn-Sells is currently working on with more than 204,000 euros. The support granted within the scope of the programme Applied Research in Smart Specialisation will be used for the research overseen by Ragn-Sells and carried out by the scientists of TalTech and the University of Tartu, which is aimed at finding the best technological solutions to the valorisation of oil shale ashes.