The major research performed in the laboratory of organic geochemistry is focused on the geochemistry of oil and gas and their source rocks, both conventional and unconventional resources (e.g. shale oil and gas, oil shale, etc.) and on natural and anthropogenic environmental issues related mainly to fossil fuels.
Technical description of the Lab:
1. LECO SC632 CARBON AND SULFUR DETERMINATOR: uses high temperature combustion followed by Infrared detection to determine the sulfur (TS) carbon (TC) and total organic carbon (TOC wt%) content in a wide variety of organic materials equipped with a high temperature combustion cell and two IR detectors for measurement of total carbon, total organic carbon and total sulfur released from the sample. Max. operation temp. 1,300 oC.
2. ROCK EVAL 6 (Vinci Technologies): for analysis of source rocks for oil and gas through two stages: pyrolysis maturation simulation and spent-rock combustion. Data obtained: organic and inorganic carbon (TOC, TC), free hydrocarbons (S1 mg HC/g rock), hydrocarbon generation potential (S2 mg HC/g rock), H-Index (HI = S2/TOC mg HC/g organic carbon), O-Index (OI = S3/TOC mg CO2/g organic carbon), kerogen type and thermal maturation.
3. PYROLYSIS REACTORS (Parr Instrument Company): Four reactors (~ 1kg rock) for anhydrous pyrolysis experiments, thermal maturation simulation, oil and gas generation and the effect of temperature, rate of heating and pressure on the amount and composition of the oil and gas generated along with the non-hydrocarbon volatiles fraction produced (H2O, H2S, CO2, H2, N2). The Max. temperature 440oC, max. backlog pressure 150 psi. The liquids (oil and/or water) and gases produced can be sampled at any experimental stage. The gaseous phase flows through scrubbers to neutralize H2S and consequently released through a hood monitored by sensitive HC and H2S detectors.
4. 490 MICRO GC (Agilant Technologies): for gas composition analysis H2, CO2, CO, H2S, methane (CH4), ethane (C2H6, propane (C3H8), butane and iso-butane (C4H10).
5. SOXHLET AND DEAN STARK EXTRACTION UNITS (Vinci Technologies): thermal and organic solvents extraction of water and oil and bitumen from rock samples and determination of their relative saturation in pores space.
6. FLUID SATURATOR: for induced saturation of rock samples by water or brines. 5L pressure vessel, max. confining pressure 5,000 psi.