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GEM Research Laboratories  

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Advancements in Geochemistry and Geomicrobiology of Energy Resources (AGGER)

The AGGER project seeks to advance the understanding of factors that indicate and control the sources, generation, composition, stimulation, accumulation, movement, and production potential of petroleum, nuclear fuel resources (e.g., uranium and thorium), and their byproducts as well as the potential for resource recovery from wastes generated during extraction.
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Advancements in Geochemistry and Geomicrobiology of Energy Resources (AGGER)

The AGGER project seeks to advance the understanding of factors that indicate and control the sources, generation, composition, stimulation, accumulation, movement, and production potential of petroleum, nuclear fuel resources (e.g., uranium and thorium), and their byproducts as well as the potential for resource recovery from wastes generated during extraction.
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Geochemistry of Energy Fuels Project

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...
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Geochemistry of Energy Fuels Project

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...
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Research Mineralogy - X-ray Diffraction Lab

The primary goal of this project is to ensure the availability of state-of-the-art mineralogical analyses and, when needed, development of new analytical methods that can be applied to topical studies in Energy and Minerals Mission Area, as well as the other mission areas. The project includes mineralogy by X-ray diffraction (XRD), qualitative and semi-quantitative x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy...
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Research Mineralogy - X-ray Diffraction Lab

The primary goal of this project is to ensure the availability of state-of-the-art mineralogical analyses and, when needed, development of new analytical methods that can be applied to topical studies in Energy and Minerals Mission Area, as well as the other mission areas. The project includes mineralogy by X-ray diffraction (XRD), qualitative and semi-quantitative x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy...
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Geochemistry of Energy Fuels Task

Geologic and geochemical processes that impact fuel quality, quantity, and availability can be best understood by utilizing a range of approaches, including, but not limited to isotopic signatures, inorganic and organic analyses, and neutron scattering techniques. Current work focuses on using neutron scattering to understand how fluids are stored and flow through tight continuous reservoirs and...
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Geochemistry of Energy Fuels Task

Geologic and geochemical processes that impact fuel quality, quantity, and availability can be best understood by utilizing a range of approaches, including, but not limited to isotopic signatures, inorganic and organic analyses, and neutron scattering techniques. Current work focuses on using neutron scattering to understand how fluids are stored and flow through tight continuous reservoirs and...
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Vitrinite Reflectance Service

Vitrinite is a maceral group that is derived from the remains of woody material from vascular plants and is composed of the thermally evolved products of lignin and cellulose. A maceral group is a set of organic matter types with similar properties and appearance. Vitrinite reflectance measures the percentage of incident light that is reflected from the surface of vitrinite as calibrated to a...
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Vitrinite Reflectance Service

Vitrinite is a maceral group that is derived from the remains of woody material from vascular plants and is composed of the thermally evolved products of lignin and cellulose. A maceral group is a set of organic matter types with similar properties and appearance. Vitrinite reflectance measures the percentage of incident light that is reflected from the surface of vitrinite as calibrated to a...
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Thermal Indices Innovation

Thermal indices innovation focuses on the utilization of correlative microscopy and spectroscopy techniques for innovative approaches to advance the understanding of thermal indices development. These techniques include correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), and atomic force microscopy and infrared microscopy (AFM-IR), among others. Use of...
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Thermal Indices Innovation

Thermal indices innovation focuses on the utilization of correlative microscopy and spectroscopy techniques for innovative approaches to advance the understanding of thermal indices development. These techniques include correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), and atomic force microscopy and infrared microscopy (AFM-IR), among others. Use of...
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Hydrous Pyrolysis and Kerogen Conversion

Hydrous pyrolysis (HP) experimentation is a laboratory method used to thermally mature organic-rich sedimentary rocks. It simulates petroleum generation in the closest available analogue to that of a natural system. Artificial maturation of sedimentary organic matter (SOM) to petroleum allows for the examination of its molecular chemistry to address the issue of anomalous reflection measurement...
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Hydrous Pyrolysis and Kerogen Conversion

Hydrous pyrolysis (HP) experimentation is a laboratory method used to thermally mature organic-rich sedimentary rocks. It simulates petroleum generation in the closest available analogue to that of a natural system. Artificial maturation of sedimentary organic matter (SOM) to petroleum allows for the examination of its molecular chemistry to address the issue of anomalous reflection measurement...
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Standardization of Petrographic Thermal Indices

Advent of the shale revolution since about 2005 caused increased demand for reliable petrographic measurements of thermal maturity in shale via vitrinite reflectance, which has long been considered the gold standard approach. The first standardized methodology for vitrinite reflectance measurement in shale became available in 2011. Subsequent interlaboratory studies demonstrated that significant...
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Standardization of Petrographic Thermal Indices

Advent of the shale revolution since about 2005 caused increased demand for reliable petrographic measurements of thermal maturity in shale via vitrinite reflectance, which has long been considered the gold standard approach. The first standardized methodology for vitrinite reflectance measurement in shale became available in 2011. Subsequent interlaboratory studies demonstrated that significant...
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Molecular Fingerprinting of Energy Materials

The chemical composition of complex solid organic matter (OM) from sedimentary reservoirs is a key parameter in the generation of hydrocarbon fuels. Vibrational spectroscopies such as Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Raman have been widely applied to understand the molecular make-up of these hydrocarbon precursors, as well as provide links to their thermal histories via correlation to proven...
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Molecular Fingerprinting of Energy Materials

The chemical composition of complex solid organic matter (OM) from sedimentary reservoirs is a key parameter in the generation of hydrocarbon fuels. Vibrational spectroscopies such as Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and Raman have been widely applied to understand the molecular make-up of these hydrocarbon precursors, as well as provide links to their thermal histories via correlation to proven...
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NORM Byproducts of Energy Resources

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) is found in waste produced during the extraction of uranium, phosphate, rare earth elements (REE), coal, oil and gas resources. The focus of this effort is to understand the potential for byproduct recovery of U-235 and Th-232, the fissionable isotopes used to generate nuclear energy from wastes produced during energy resource development. The NORM...
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NORM Byproducts of Energy Resources

Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) is found in waste produced during the extraction of uranium, phosphate, rare earth elements (REE), coal, oil and gas resources. The focus of this effort is to understand the potential for byproduct recovery of U-235 and Th-232, the fissionable isotopes used to generate nuclear energy from wastes produced during energy resource development. The NORM...
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Byproducts of Energy Fuels

This task provides detailed information on the use and resource potential of energy by-products, as well as controls on the potential mobility of contaminants resulting from transport, storage, and disposal of these byproducts. Specific topics investigated include 1) transport and fate of organic and inorganic contaminants during storage and disposal of waste coal and coal combustion byproducts...
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Byproducts of Energy Fuels

This task provides detailed information on the use and resource potential of energy by-products, as well as controls on the potential mobility of contaminants resulting from transport, storage, and disposal of these byproducts. Specific topics investigated include 1) transport and fate of organic and inorganic contaminants during storage and disposal of waste coal and coal combustion byproducts...
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Microbial Methanogenesis and Strategies for Enhancements

Microbial (biogenic) natural gas is present in shale, coal and petroleum reservoirs and is estimated to account for 20% of the world’s natural gas resources. We provide hydrological, geochemical and microbial information related to the production of biogenic natural gas and new methods to monitor and enhance the production of this energy resource. Generating microbial methane at a faster rate from...
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Microbial Methanogenesis and Strategies for Enhancements

Microbial (biogenic) natural gas is present in shale, coal and petroleum reservoirs and is estimated to account for 20% of the world’s natural gas resources. We provide hydrological, geochemical and microbial information related to the production of biogenic natural gas and new methods to monitor and enhance the production of this energy resource. Generating microbial methane at a faster rate from...
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