Date of Award

Spring 3-23-2014

Author's School

College of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



Oil shale contains kerogen, a promising source of fuel. Using 1H and 19F nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods, we studied the structural and chemical changes in Green River Basin oil shale as it is heated to temperatures comparable to those used in retorting. In particular, 1H free induction decays were examined to track changes in the endogenous hydrogen. It was found that the kerogen did indeed evolve into more mobile liquids and gases as temperature increased. Between 350°C and 400°C the kerogen “cracked” into lighter particles, undergoing an irreversible chemical change. In addition, we imbibed pre-heated oil shale samples with heptane, Fluorinert, or fluorinated gases and then compared the amplitudes of the imbibed samples with a bulk liquid/gas signal. This procedure allowed us to measure an overall maximum porosity of about 50%.


English (en)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Mark Conradi

Advisor/Committee Chair's Department

Department of Physics

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