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Dynamic imaging of oil shale pyrolysis using synchrotron X-ray microtomography

DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069279 DOI Help

Authors: Tarik Saif (Imperial College London) , Qingyang Lin (Imperial College London) , Kamaljit Singh (Imperial College London) , Branko Bijeljic (Imperial College London) , Martin J. Blunt (Imperial College London)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters , VOL 43 , PAGES 6799 - 6807

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2016
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 11587

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: The structure and connectivity of the pore space during the pyrolysis of oil shales determines hydrocarbon flow behavior and ultimate recovery. We image the time evolution of the pore and microfracture networks during oil shale pyrolysis using synchrotron X-ray microtomography. Immature Green River (Mahogany Zone) shale samples were thermally matured under vacuum conditions at temperatures up to 500°C while being periodically imaged with a 2 µm voxel size. The structural transformation of both organic-rich and organic-lean layers within the shale was quantified. The images reveal a dramatic change in porosity accompanying pyrolysis between 390 and 400°C with the formation of micron-scale heterogeneous pores. With a further increase in temperature, the pores steadily expand resulting in connected microfracture networks that predominantly develop along the kerogen-rich laminations.

Journal Keywords: dynamic imaging; synchrotron; oil shale pyrolysis; kerogen; pore structure; pore connectivity; 1859 Rocks; physical properties; Microstructure; Permeability and porosity; Thermal properties; Tomography and imaging

Subject Areas: Earth Science, Technique Development, Energy

Instruments: I13-2-Diamond Manchester Imaging

Added On: 16/11/2016 13:17


Discipline Tags:

Technique Development - Earth Sciences & Environment Earth Sciences & Environment Geology Geophysics

Technical Tags:

Imaging Tomography