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CAMP December Newsletter: Page 7

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CAMP Facilities Used for Research Relating to the Properties of Gas / Oil Shales

Dr. Neal R. O'Brien, emeritus Distinguished Teaching Professor of SUNY Potsdam and member of the Clarkson Colloid and Surface Science group, receives CAMP support to investigate the microfabric of gas/oil shales.


Figure 3.  Microfabric features in a gas/oil shale. Pores in clay floccules (arrows) and a microchannel migration (dots).  This is a FESEM image.

He uses the Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FESEM) at CAMP to recognize hydrocarbon migration routes and pore spaces in hydrocarbon rich shales. Professor O’Brien is grateful for the assistance that Ted Champagne (CAMP’s Instrumentation Technician) provides.


Figure 4.  Pores in shale (arrows). This is a FESEM image.

FESEM analysis allows imaging of nano- to micrometer size pores and microfractures (Figures 3, 4, and 5) capable of hydrocarbon storage and migration.  Dr. O'Brien, in association with Drs. Roger Slatt and Younane Abousleiman (College of Earth and Energy at the University of Oklahoma), is funded by various energy-related companies interested in potential gas/oil shale resources.

Fig 5

Figure 5.  Nanometer pore in a fossil in shale.  This is a FESEM image.

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