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Textural occurrence and organic porosity of solid bitumen in shales

January 24, 2023

This study presents Raman spectroscopic data paired with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to assess solid bitumen composition and porosity development as a function of solid bitumen texture and association with minerals. A series of hydrous pyrolysis experiments (1-103 days, 300-370°C) using a low maturity (0.25% solid bitumen reflectance, BRo), high total organic carbon [(TOC), 14.0 wt. %] New Albany Shale sample as the starting material yielded pyrolysis residues designed to evaluate the evolution of TOC, solid bitumen aromaticity, and organic porosity development with increasing temperature and heating duration. Solid bitumen was analyzed by Raman spectroscopy wherein point data was collected from accumulations that ranged in size, pore density, and degree of association with the mineral matrix. Raman spectroscopy results show that with increasing temperature and experimental duration, solid bitumen aromaticity increases and compositional variability decreases. With regards to texture and composition, coarser-grained solid bitumen (>1.3 µm from nearest mineral grain) tends to have fewer pores (as identified with SEM) and consistently higher, but less variable aromaticity than thinner, wispy solid bitumen which is more intimately associated with the mineral matrix. The Raman data indicate that solid bitumen porosity development and molecular composition are linked, and these parameters are related to the textural relationships of the organic matter within the whole rock.

Publication Year 2023
Title Textural occurrence and organic porosity of solid bitumen in shales
DOI 10.5066/P9RSIEVF
Authors Martha (Rebecca) R. Stokes, Brett J Valentine, Paul C Hackley, Aaron M Jubb, Mary R. Croke
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Geology, Energy & Minerals Science Center