From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Torbanite, also known as boghead coal, is a variety of fine-grained black oil shale. It usually occurs as lenticular masses, often associated with deposits of Permian coals.[1][2] Torbanite is classified as lacustrine type oil shale.[3]

Torbanite is named after Torbane Hill near Bathgate in Scotland, its main location of occurrence.[4] Torbanite found in Bathgate may have formations of bathvillite found within it.[5]

Other major deposits of torbanite are found in Pennsylvania and Illinois, USA, in Mpumalanga in South Africa, in the Sydney Basin of New South Wales, Australia,[6] the largest deposit of which is located at Glen Davis, and in Nova Scotia, Canada.[1][4]

Organic matter (telalginite) in torbanite is derived from lipid-rich microscopic plant remains similar in appearance to the fresh-water colonial green alga Botryococcus braunii.[1][2][4] This evidence and extracellular hydrocarbons produced by the alga have led scientists to examine the alga as a source of Permian torbanites[7] and a possible producer of biofuels.[8] Torbanite consists of subordinate amounts of vitrinite and inertinite; however, their occurrence vary depending on deposits.[4]

Torbanite typically comprises 88% carbon and 11% hydrogen.[1] Paraffin oil can be distilled from some forms of torbanite, a process discovered and patented by James Young in 1851.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Yen, Teh Fu; Chilingar, George V. (1976). Oil Shale. Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 4–5, 28. ISBN 978-0-444-41408-3. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  2. ^ a b Lee, Sunggyu (1990). Oil Shale Technology. CRC Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-0-8493-4615-6. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  3. ^ Hutton, A.C. (1987). "Petrographic classification of oil shales". International Journal of Coal Geology. Amsterdam: Elsevier. 8 (3): 203–231. doi:10.1016/0166-5162(87)90032-2. ISSN 0166-5162.
  4. ^ a b c d Dyni, John R. (2003). "Geology and resources of some world oil-shale deposits (Presented at Symposium on Oil Shale in Tallinn, Estonia, November 18-21, 2002)" (PDF). Oil Shale. A Scientific-Technical Journal. Estonian Academy Publishers. 20 (3): 193–252. ISSN 0208-189X. Retrieved 2007-06-17.
  5. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bathvillite" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 521.
  6. ^ Brian Ayling. "Shale mining relics at Airly, Genowlan Creek and Torbane, NSW". Retrieved 2010-01-30.
  7. ^ Meuzelaar, Henk L. C.; Windig, Willem; Futrell, Jean H.; Harper, Alice M.; Larter, Steve R. (1986). "Pyrolysis mass spectrometry and multivariate analysis of several key world oil shale kerogens and some recent alginites". In Aczel, Thomas. Mass spectrometric characterization of shale oils: a symposium. Philadelphia: ASTM International. pp. 81–105. ISBN 978-0-8031-0467-9. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  8. ^ Lee, Robert E. (1999). Phycology (3 ed.). Cambridge, [England]: Cambridge University Press. pp. 246–247. ISBN 978-0-521-63883-8.

External links[edit]