Geochemistry of Energy Fuels Project

Science Center Objects

Since its establishment in 1879, USGS geoscientists have investigated the geochemistry of energy resources. Research conducted in the Geochemistry of Energy Fuels project continues this tradition. Goals include 1) understanding the geologic, geochemical, microbiological, and other factors that control production, quality, and composition of coal, petroleum, and nuclear fuels, and 2) predicting the impacts of fuel use and possible uses of fuel by-products generated. Project geoscientists have expertise in coal geology, trace element, organic, molecular and isotope geochemistry, microbiology, and GIS applications. The research supports USGS energy resource assessments and provides critical information to land managers and decision makers. 

Fouskas, Fotios., Ma, Lin, Engle, M.A., Ruppert, L.F., Geboy, N.J., and Costa, M.A., 2018, Cadmium isotope fractionation during coal combustion: insights from two U.S. coal-fired power plants: Applied Geochemistry, v. 96, p. 100-112,

Martín-Fernández, J.A., Engle, M.A., Ruppert, L.F., and Olea, R.A., 2019, Self-organizing map for compositional data: Analysis of elemental concentrations in coal combustion products: Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment,

Ruppert, L.F. and Radlinski, A.P, 2018, In honor of Dr. Yuri B. Melnichenko: Application of neutron scattering (SANS and USANS) to research on fossil fuel energy sources: International Journal of Coal Geology, v. 189, p. 68-69.

Jones, K.B., Hodgins, G.W.L., and Sandweiss, D.H., in press, Radiocarbon chronometry of Site QJ-280, Quebrada Jaguay, a terminal Pleistocene to early Holocene fishing site in southern Peru: Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, 19 p.,

Etayo-Cadavid, M.F., Andrus, C.F.T., Jones, K.B., and Hodgins, G.W.L., in press, Subseasonal variations in marine reservoir age from pre-bomb Donax obesulus and Protothaca asperrima shell carbonate: Chemical Geology, 20 p.,

Jones, K., Scott, A., and Ruppert, L.F., 2019, Isotopic examination of thick pyrite bands in the Pittsburgh coal bed: International Journal of Coal Geology (in prep.)

Jubb, A.M., Ruppert, L.F., Headen, T., and Youngs, T.G.A., 2019, A contrast matching study of the behavior of methane in nano-sized pores in the Marcellus Shale: Fuel, in preparation.

Ruppert, L.F., Jubb, A.M., Youngs, T.G.A., Headen, T., 2019, NIMROD measurements of carbon dioxide adsorption in Marcellus Shale samples: Energy & Fuels, in preparation.


Ruppert, L.F. and Duncan, D.W., 2015, Recent trends and research in U.S. gas shale [abs.]: Abstracts of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Organic Petrology, Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia, September 20-27, 2015, ISSN 1060-7250. (Presenter)

Warwick, P.D., Ruppert, L.F., and Qi, H., 2015, Carbon and oxygen isotopes of coal and carbon dioxide derived from laboratory coal combustion: Abstracts of the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Organic Petrology, Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia, September 20-27, 2015, ISSN 1060-7250.

Ruppert, L.F., 2017, U.S. Geological Survey overview and energy and mineral resource science: Presentation to the Kosovo U.S. Consultation for Independent Commission for Mines and Minerals, Department of the Interior, April 13, 2017. (Invited)

Stefanopoulos, K.L., Youngs, T.G.A., Sakurovs, R., Ruppert, L.F., and Bahadur, J., 2016, In situ neutron scattering measurements of CO2 adsorption in Marcellus Shale samples [abs.], Abstracts of the 33d Annual Meeting of the Society for Organic Petrology, Houston, TX. (Presenter)

Bahadur, J., Ruppert, L.F., Pipich, V., Sakurovs, R., and Melnichenko, Y.B., 2017, Porosity of the Marcellus Shale: A contrast matching small-angle neutron scattering study [abs.]: Abstracts of the 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Organic Petrology, September 20-24, 2017. Calgary, Canada. (Presenter)

Martin-Fernandez, J.A., Olea, R.A., and Ruppert, L.F., 2017, Analysis of coal combustion products using compositional data techniques: International Association of Mathematical Geosciences: IAMG17 Abstracts, September 6, 2017, Perth, Australia

Martin-Fernandez, J.A., Engle, M.A., Ruppert, L.F., and Olea, R.A., 2018, New insights on the self-organizing maps for compositional data: analysis of coal combustion products with an application to a Wyoming power plant [abs.]: International Association of Mathematical Geosciences: IAMG18 Abstracts, September 2-8, 2018, Prague, Czech Republic. 

Ruppert, L.F., Youngs, T.G.A., Stefanopolos, K.L, and Sakurovs, R., 2018, Contrast matching Marcellus Shale study: The Society for Organic Petrology Annual Meeting, Beijing, China, August 17, 2018.