(132a) Characterization of the Oil Shale Core Pore Structure Before and After Pyrolysis
The pyrolysis of oil shale to produce transportation fuels is a complex process. The organic matter in the oil shale is tightly bound with varying mineral matrix. Several physical changes occur during the thermal conversion of kerogen in oil shale to produce hydrocarbon product. The creation of pore space during the pyrolysis is an important physical process. The study of the pore formation during the process can help in understanding the flow behavior of pyrolysis product within the internal network. In this paper, we report the effect of temperature on oil shale pyrolysis and product distribution, and study of the creation of pore volume during the process. Oil shale cores of 1” diameter from different depths of a single drill hole in the Unita Basin were used. Increase in the temperature resulted in higher weight loss and correspondingly the oil yield. However, the product distribution depends on the maturity of the material. Multiscale 3D X-ray CT imaging was performed to characterize and to analyze the nature of the pore network structure before and after pyrolysis. The CT scans of these cores at 42 micron voxel resolution displayed the distinguishable features of reaction products and source rock. Pyrolysis of organic rich core at high temperature produced large pore space during the process.