At present, foreign countries have begun to use water vapor generated by concentrating solar heating to exploit the heavy oil in old oil fields. For example, Chevron carried out a experiment in Kelin Jia Oilfield in California of the USA, installed in over 7000 mirror on heliostats, the sunlight focused into the 100-meter-high spire. In this way, the convergence of high-temperature would turn water in tower into steam, the steam then entered the heat exchanger, and then the water in the oil field turned into steam, brought out more of the remaining oil from the ground.
The solar heating system of this experiment produced 350 barrels of steam per hour, and produced about 5% additional white mineral oil (CAS:8042-47-5). In addition, in California, about 40 percent of the oil is mined by burning natural gas to generate steam, the cost of steam even accounted for 2/3 of the entire production cost. The application of solar energy systems can save the natural gas resources. Overall, Chevron can produce about 8,000 barrels of oil equivalent daily from the the Kelin Jia oil field.
This is an example of solar energy applying to chemical. Nowdays, the pressure of energy saving and emission reduction is high in China’s chemical industry, the above example gives the whole industry a revelation: as a clean energy, solar energy can become a “green power” in the chemical industry to promote energy conservation.