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Kerogen nanoscale structure and CO2 adsorption in shale micropores

Gonciaruk, Aleksandra; Hall, Matthew R; Fay, Michael W.; Parmenter, Christopher D J; Vane, Christopher H; Khlobystov, Andrei N.; Ripepi, Nino

Kerogen nanoscale structure and CO2 adsorption in shale micropores Thumbnail


Aleksandra Gonciaruk

Matthew R Hall

Christopher H Vane

Nino Ripepi


Gas storage and recovery processes in shales critically depend on nano-scale porosity and chemical composition, but information about the nanoscale pore geometry and connectivity of kerogen, insoluble organic shale matter, is largely unavailable. Using adsorption microcalorimetry, we show that once strong adsorption sites within nanoscale network are taken, gas adsorption even at very low pressure is governed by pore width rather than chemical composition. A combination of focused ion beam with scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy reveal the nanoscale structure of kerogen includes not only the ubiquitous amorphous phase but also highly graphitized sheets, fiber- and onion-like structures creating nanoscale voids accessible for gas sorption. Nanoscale structures bridge the current gap between molecular size and macropore scale in existing models for kerogen, thus allowing accurate prediction of gas sorption, storage and diffusion properties in shales.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 18, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 16, 2021
Publication Date Feb 16, 2021
Deposit Date Jan 29, 2021
Publicly Available Date Feb 16, 2021
Journal Scientific Reports
Print ISSN 2045-2322
Electronic ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Article Number 3920
Public URL
Publisher URL


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