This dissertation describes applications of hydrous pyrolysis, organic petrography and micro-spectrometry to understanding visual and chemical evolution of solid bitumen (a solid hydrocarbon) and kerogen (insoluble sedimentary organic matter) with thermal advance. The properties investigated occur from immature to early-mid oil window conditions of petroleum generation. The dissertation is divided into four chapters. The introductory chapter describes the general problem that is addressed by the dissertation research—mechanism and thermal regimes of kerogen conversion to petroleum. The second chapter describes and characterizes how thermal stress causes changes to the chemistry and visual appearance of Tasmanites, a marine alga. The third chapter uses the experimental method of hydrous pyrolysis to characterize the response of vitrinite and solid bitumen to thermal stress. The final chapter explores unanswered questions, discusses limitations, and presents some ideas for future research. Collectively, the results presented herein have application to better understanding of the conditions and processes of hydrocarbon generation in the early oil window and can be used to better predict the locations where the conditions of the early oil window can be expected in sedimentary basins.
|Advisor:||Honeychuck, Robert V., Burruss, Robert C.|
|Commitee:||Houseknecht, David W., Paige, Mikell|
|School:||George Mason University|
|Department:||Chemistry and Biochemistry|
|School Location:||United States -- Virginia|
|Source:||DAI-B 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Kerogen conversion, Petroleum, Solid bitumen, Tasmanites, Thermal maturity, Vitrinite|
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