Wikipedia:Main Page history/2011 February 5

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Shell's experimental in-situ oil shale facility, Piceance Basin, Colorado

Shale oil extraction is an industrial process for unconventional oil production. This process converts kerogen in oil shale into shale oil by pyrolysis, hydrogenation, or thermal dissolution. The resultant shale oil is used as fuel oil or upgraded to meet refinery feedstock specifications by adding hydrogen and removing sulfur and nitrogen impurities. Shale oil extraction is usually performed above ground (ex situ processing) by mining the oil shale and then treating it in processing facilities. Other modern technologies perform the processing underground (on-site or in situ processing) by applying heat and extracting the oil via oil wells. The earliest description of the process dates to the 10th century. The industry shrank in the mid-20th century following the discovery of large reserves of conventional oil, but high petroleum prices at the beginning of the 21st century have led to renewed interest. As of 2010, major long-standing extraction industries are operating in Estonia, Brazil, and China. Its economic viability varies with the ratio of local energy input costs to energy output value. National energy security issues have also played a role in its development. Critics of shale oil extraction pose questions about environmental management issues, such as waste disposal, extensive water use and waste water management, and air pollution. (more...)

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February 5: Constitution Day in Mexico (1917); Kashmir Day in Pakistan

Douglas MacArthur

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Tiphiid wasp

A male Tiphiid wasp (Agriomyia sp.), feeding on nectar. Although the adults are nectarivores, the larvae are almost universally parasitoids of various beetle larvae. A female wasp will paralyze the victim and lay an egg on it. When the egg hatches, the wasp larva has a ready supply of food. As some of the scarab species attacked by tiphiids are pests, some of these wasps are considered beneficial as biological control agents.

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