In the 10th century, the Arabian physician Masawaih al-Mardini (Mesue the Younger) wrote of his experiments in extracting oil from "some kind of bituminous shale". The first shale oil extraction patent was granted by the British Crown in 1684 to three people who had "found a way to extract and make great quantities of pitch, tarr, and oyle out of a sort of stone". Modern industrial extraction of shale oil originated in France with the implementation of a process invented by Alexander Selligue in 1838, improved upon a decade later in Scotland using a process invented by James Young. During the late 19th century, plants were built in Australia, Brazil, Canada, and the United States. The 1894 invention of the Pumpherston retort, which was much less reliant on coal heat than its predecessors, marked the separation of the oil shale industry from the coal industry.
large dog products