Wet Air Oxidation of Oil Shales: Kerogen Dissolution and Dicarboxylic Acid Formation.
ABSTRACT: Until now, the oil shale kukersite has been used mainly for energy and oil production. To broaden the possible applications of oil shales, the wet air oxidation of kukersite (an organic-rich sedimentary rock from Estonia) was studied. Kukersite was oxidized with an oxygen-rich gas in water at temperatures up to 200 °C and pressures up to 60 bar. The efficiency of this batch process was evaluated from organic matter conversion, from the amount of solubilized organics obtained, and from the rate of dicarboxylic acid (DCA) formation. The effect of several reaction parameters-pressure, temperature, time, acid/base additives, substrate concentration, the origin of a substrate and its organic matter content, and so forth-was measured. A conversion of 91% in total organic carbon was achieved at 175 °C with 40 bar of the 1:1 oxygen/nitrogen mixture in 3 h without the presence of any additives. Under basic conditions, high yields (up to 50%) of dissolved organic matter were obtained with 8% of DCA; the best results are obtained with K2CO3 and KOH. The highest DCA outcome (12%) within the 3 h reaction time was obtained in the presence of acetic acid. It was found that temperatures higher than 185 °C, pressures over 30 bar of pO2, and long reaction times in the acidic media caused a considerable decrease in the DCA outcome. It was also found that the same process can be applied to shales of different origins, although with lower DCA yields.
Project description:We present adsorption and desorption isotherms of methane, ethane, propane, n-butane and iso-butane as well as carbon dioxide for two shales and isolated kerogens determined by a gravimetric method. The sorption measurements of two shales were performed at three different temperatures, 308.15, 323.15, and 338.15?K. For the isolated kerogens, the measurements were conducted at 338.15?K. Methane and ethane sorption isotherms were measured to 35?bar. Carbon dioxide sorption isotherms were studied to 30?bar. Due to the low vapor pressure at room temperature, the sorption isotherms of propane, n-butane and iso-butane were measured to 8, 2, and 2?bar, respectively. The adsorptions of propane, n-butane, and iso-butane were much higher than methane at the highest pressures where the measurements were conducted. The adsorption of n-butane was 10 times higher than methane by mole at 2?bar, followed by iso-butane and propane. Our data show significant adsorption hysteresis in ethane, propane, n-butane and iso-butane. The most pronounced hysteresis was found in n-butane and iso-butane. Significant hysteresis is attributed to the reversible structural changes of kerogens. Dissolution of adsorbates into organic matter may also affect the hysteresis. This is the first report of propane and butane sorption isotherms in shales.
Project description:Nickel and vanadyl porphyrins belong to the so-called fossil geo- or sedimentary porphyrins. They occur in different types of organic matter-rich sediments but mostly occur in crude oils and their source rocks, oil shales, coals, and oil sands. In this study, we aimed to understand the process of bacterial transformation of geoporphyrins occurring in the subsurface shale rock (Fore-Sudetic Monocline, SW Poland). We studied these transformations in rock samples directly obtained from the field; in rock samples treated with bacterial strain isolated from shale rock (strain LM27) in the laboratory; and using synthetic nickel and vanadyl porphyrins treated with LM27. Our results demonstrate the following: (i) cleavage and/or degradation of aliphatic and aromatic substituents of porphyrins; (ii) degradation of porphyrin (tetrapyrrole) ring; (iii) formation of organic compounds containing 1, 2, or 3 pyrrole rings; (iv) formation of nickel- or vanadium-containing organic compounds; and (v) mobilization of nickel and vanadium. Our results also showed that the described bacterial processes change the composition and content of geoporphyrins, composition of extractable organic matter, as well as nickel and vanadium content in shale rock.
Project description:Kerogens are extracted from deep shales to study pyrolysis of deep shale samples. The 2D molecular models of kerogens are obtained by a series of physical and chemical experiments by which the macromolecular models of kerogens are constructed. Then, the reasonable 3D macromolecular models are established by molecular mechanics and global energy minimization. The effects of temperature and heating rate on the chemical kinetics of kerogen pyrolysis are studied using reactive force field (ReaxFF). The hybrid molecular dynamics/force-biased Monte Carlo (MD/fbMC) approach is used to simulate the pyrolytic process at the experimental temperature, which is lower than the conventional one. The gaseous products and residues obtained by the simulations agree with the experimental results, which means a reliable simulation method for pyrolysis at experimental temperature is provided. This study constructs the rational macromolecular models of kerogen by experiments, and proposes the mechanisms of typical reactions of kerogen pyrolysis, which may help in understanding the formation of shale oil and gas.
Project description:Shale gas has attracted increasing attention as a potential alternative gas in recent years. Because a large fraction of gas in shale formation is in an adsorbed state, knowledge of the supercritical methane adsorption behavior on shales is fundamental for gas-in-place predictions and optimum gas recovery. A practical model with rigorous physical significance is necessary to describe the methane adsorption behavior at high pressures and high temperatures on shales. In this study, methane adsorption experiments were carried out on three Lower Silurian Longmaxi shale samples from the Sichuan Basin, South China, at pressures of up to 30 MPa and temperatures of 40, 60, 80, and 100 °C. The simplified local density/Elliott-Suresh-Donohue model was adopted to fit the experimental data in this study and the published methane adsorption data. The results demonstrate that this model is suitable to represent the adsorption data from the experiments and literature for a wide range of temperatures and pressures, and the average absolute deviation is within 10%. The methane adsorption capacity of the Longmaxi shale exhibited a strong linear positive correlation with the total organic carbon content and a linear negative correlation with increasing temperature. The rate of decrease in the methane adsorption capacity with swing temperature increased with the total organic carbon content, indicating that the organic matter is sensitive to temperature.
Project description:Kerogen is the insoluble component of organic-rich shales that controls the type and amount of hydrocarbons generated in conventional and unconventional reservoirs. Significant progress has recently been made in developing structural models of kerogen. However, there is still a large gap in understanding the evolution of the molecular components of kerogen with thermal maturation and their hydrocarbon (HC) generative potential. Here, we determine the variations in different molecular fragments of kerogen from a Marcellus Shale maturity series (with VRo ranging from 0.8 to 3) using quantitative <sup>13</sup>C MultiCP/MAS NMR and MultiCP NMR/DD (dipolar dephasing). These molecular variations provide insight into the (1) evolution of the molecular structure of kerogen with increasing thermal maturity and, (2) the primary molecular contributors to HC generation. Our results also indicate that old model equations based on structural parameters of kerogen underestimate the thermal maturity and overestimate the HC generation potential of Marcellus Shale samples. This could primarily be due to the fact that the kerogen samples used to reconstruct old models were mostly derived from immature shales (VRo <1) acquired from different basins with varying depositional environments. We utilized the kerogen molecular parameters determined from the Marcellus maturity series samples to develop improved models for determining thermal maturity and HC potential of Marcellus Shale. The models generated in this study could also potentially be applied to other shales of similar maturity range and paleo-depositional environments.
Project description:The presence of kerogen in source rocks gives rise to a plethora of potential gas storage mechanisms. Proper estimation of the gas reserve requires knowledge of the quantities of free and adsorbed gas in rock pores and kerogen. Traditional methods of reserve estimation such as the volumetric and material balance approaches are insufficient because they do not consider both the free and adsorbed gas compartments present in kerogens. Modified versions of these equations are based on adding terms to account for hydrocarbons stored in kerogen. None of the existing models considered the effect of kerogen maturing on methane gas adsorption. In this work, a molecular modeling was employed to explore how thermal maturity impacts gas adsorption in kerogen. Four different macromolecules of kerogen were included to mimic kerogens of different maturity levels; these were folded to more closely resemble the nanoporous kerogen structures of source rocks. These structures form the basis of the modeling necessary to assess the adsorption capacity as a function of the structure. The number of double bonds plus the number and type of heteroatoms (O, S, and N) were found to influence the final configuration of the kerogen structures, and hence their capacity to host methane molecules. The degree of aromaticity increased with the maturity level within the same kerogen type. The fraction of aromaticity gives rise to the polarity. We present an empirical mathematical relationship that makes possible the estimation of the adsorption capacity of kerogen based on the degree of polarity. Variations in kerogen adsorption capacity have significant implications on the reservoir scale. The general trend obtained from the molecular modeling was found to be consistent with experimental measurements done on actual kerogen samples. Shale samples with different kerogen content and with different maturity showed that shales with immature kerogen have small methane adsorption capacity compared to shales with mature kerogen. In this study, it is shown for the first time that the key factor to control natural gas adsorption is the kerogen maturity not the kerogen content.
Project description:The process by which organic matter decomposes deep underground to form petroleum and its underlying kerogen matrix has so far remained a no man's land to theoreticians, largely because of the geological (Myears) timescale associated with the process. Using reactive molecular dynamics and an accelerated simulation framework, the replica exchange molecular dynamics method, we simulate the full transformation of cellulose into kerogen and its associated fluid phase under prevailing geological conditions. We observe in sequence the fragmentation of the cellulose crystal and production of water, the development of an unsaturated aliphatic macromolecular phase and its aromatization. The composition of the solid residue along the maturation pathway strictly follows what is observed for natural type III kerogen and for artificially matured samples under confined conditions. After expulsion of the fluid phase, the obtained microporous kerogen possesses the structure, texture, density, porosity and stiffness observed for mature type III kerogen and a microporous carbon obtained by saccharose pyrolysis at low temperature. As expected for this variety of precursor, the main resulting hydrocarbon is methane. The present work thus demonstrates that molecular simulations can now be used to assess, almost quantitatively, such complex chemical processes as petrogenesis in fossil reservoirs and, more generally, the possible conversion of any natural product into bio-sourced materials and/or fuel.
Project description:The use of nano-additives is widely recognized as a cheap and effective pathway to improve the performance of lubrication by minimizing the energy loss from friction and wear, especially in diesel engines. In this work, a simple and scalable protocol was proposed to fabricate a graphene additive to improve the engine lubricant oil. Graphene nanoplates (GNPs) were obtained by a one-step chemical exfoliation of natural graphite and were successfully modified with a surfactant and an organic compound to obtain a modified GNP additive, that can be facilely dispersed in lubricant oil. The GNPs and modified GNP additive were characterized using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy. The prepared GNPs had wrinkled and crumpled structures with a diameter of 10-30 µm and a thickness of less than 15 nm. After modification, the GNP surfaces were uniformly covered with the organic compound. The addition of the modified GNP additive to the engine lubricant oil significantly enhanced the friction and antiwear performance. The highest reduction of 35% was determined for the wear scar diameter with a GNP additive concentration of approximately 0.05%. The mechanism for lubrication enhancement by graphene additives was also briefly discussed.
Project description:The adsorption characteristics of methane in shales play a critical role in the assessment of shale gas resources. The microscopic adsorption mechanism of methane considering the effect of moisture and especially salinity remains to be explored. In this work, combined molecular dynamics and grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations are conducted to investigate the adsorption behaviors of methane in the realistic kerogen matrixes containing different moisture contents (0-6 wt %) and various salinities (0-6 mol/L NaCl). Adsorption processes are simulated under realistic reservoir conditions at four temperatures in the range from 298.15 to 358.15 K and pressures up to 40 MPa. Effects of the moisture content on methane adsorption capacities are analyzed in detail. Simulation results show that the methane adsorption capacity declines as the moisture content increases. In comparison to the dry kerogen matrix, the reduction in the maximum CH4 adsorption capacity is as high as 42.5% in moist kerogen, with a moisture content of 6.0 wt % at 338.15 K. The overlap observed in the density distributions of water molecules and decrease in adsorbed methane indicates that the water molecules occupy the adsorption sites and, thus, lead to the reduction in methane adsorption capacity. Besides, the effects of salinity on CH4 adsorption isotherms are discussed. The salinity is found to have a negative influence on the methane adsorption capacity. The maximum CH4 adsorption capacity reduces around 6.0% under the salinity of 6 mol/L at 338.15 K. Adsorption of methane in kerogens of constant salinity but different moisture contents are further discussed. Results from the present study show that the moisture content has a greater impact on the adsorption of methane compared to that of salinity. The findings of this study have important implications for more accurate estimation of shale gas in place.
Project description:Current geological extraction theory and techniques are very limited to adequately characterize the unconventional oil-gas reservoirs because of the considerable complexity of the geological structures. Optical measurement has the advantages of non-interference with the earth magnetic fields, and is often useful in detecting various physical properties. One key parameter that can be detected using optical methods is the dielectric permittivity, which reflects the mineral and organic properties. Here we reported an oblique-incidence reflectivity difference (OIRD) technique that is sensitive to the dielectric and surface properties and can be applied to characterization of reservoir rocks, such as shale and sandstone core samples extracted from subsurface. The layered distribution of the dielectric properties in shales and the uniform distribution in sandstones are clearly identified using the OIRD signals. In shales, the micro-cracks and particle orientation result in directional changes of the dielectric and surface properties, and thus, the isotropy and anisotropy of the rock can be characterized by OIRD. As the dielectric and surface properties are closely related to the hydrocarbon-bearing features in oil-gas reservoirs, we believe that the precise measurement carried with OIRD can help in improving the recovery efficiency in well-drilling process.