Kerogen Swelling and Confinement: Its implication on Fluid Thermodynamic Properties in Shales

M Pathak and H Kweon and M Deo and H Huang, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 7, 12530 (2017).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-12982-4

Type I kerogen was isolated from Green River Shale and characterized using SEM, TGA, DSC, and nitrogen adsorption. The swelling behavior of this kerogen with decane was analyzed using traditional test-tube swelling experiment and Dynamic Light Scattering. The TGA and DSC were used to analyze the thermodynamic behavior of decane that was sorbed in the kerogen and show that kerogen suppresses the boiling point of decane due to the effect of confinement. However, the suppression is larger when oil (a multicomponent mixture) was used, possibly due to the combined effect of differential uptake of components by kerogen (kerogen prefers and sorbs polars and aromatics more than saturates, leading to splitting of oil into a sorbed and a free phase) and confinement in nano pores. Test-tube swelling, TGA, and DSC experiments were also performed on pyridine(polar-aromatic)swelled kerogen. The combined and individual contributions from the two effects (the effect of confinement and differential uptake of hydrocarbon components) on properties of liquid in contact with kerogen, are studied in this work. Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations revealed the variation in the swelling of type II kerogen in the presence of same amount of different liquids (differential swelling of kerogen).

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