Heating shale with microwaves

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Photo by Gretel Daugherty

Peter Kearl of Grand Junction examines a piece of broken Green River shale at the base of Long Point, a shale formation north of De Beque along Conn Creek Road. Kearl and Qmast LLC, the production company that he heads, hope to use microwaves to extract oil from the Green River shale in a more energy- and water-efficient manner than what is now being used.

Grand Junction inventor needs quarter-acre to test technology

Microwaving rock in northwest Colorado could turn the oil shale business inside out, said a Grand Junction inventor who is working to restart oil shale at a time when many are pulling away from it.
Using equipment small enough to be loaded onto two trucks traversing the surface could result in minimal surface disturbance, said Peter Kearl, a Grand Valley native who heads Qmast LLC, www.qmast.com, the company pursuing the project.
Not only would his technology disturb little of the surface, it also would likely produce — rather than use — water, Kearl said.

Jury finds man guilty on 37 counts in 2011 spree

A man who fired shots at police during a 2011 standoff at a Clifton home, after botched attempts at stealing cars at a nearby gas station, faces potentially hundreds of years in prison after guilty verdicts were returned by a Mesa County jury. George Roloff, 37, was convicted Wednesday on 37 charges, including menacing, first-degree assault on a peace officer, attempted aggravated robbery, among others, after a trial before District Judge Richard Gurley that started April 15.

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