Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Scanning Electron Microscope Reveals “The Scream” in Oil Shale

Abstract:
Who says science isn't fun? In their daily work, experienced microscopists at JEOL USA Inc. in Peabody, Massachusetts look at every kind of sample imaginable - paper, neurons in the brain, ceramics, semiconductors, insects, and forensic evidence, to name just a few - through the state-of-the-art scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) that the company manufactures and sells. No matter how long they have been doing this type of work, they are often amazed by the details and the interesting things they observe magnified at hundreds of thousands of times.

Scanning Electron Microscope Reveals “The Scream” in Oil Shale

Peabody, MA | Posted on May 27th, 2010

This week, during a SEM training session for an existing energy-related customer, JEOL specialists Dr. Natasha Erdman and Tony Laudate were examining the sample of oil shale in the microscope when they came upon this startling image that resembles a skeletal face and looked somewhat familiar to them. "It's our version of ‘The Scream' by E. Munch, said Mr. Laudate. Naturally they knew that what they were really looking at was an ion-beam polished cross section of quartz (the skull), pyrite (the eyes, nose, and mouth) and kerogen (the dark patches that are organic material). But the image was saved and will definitely be one of the most unusual that JEOL has ever taken.

Studying Oil Shale's Potential with the Scanning Electron Microscope

The clear details shown in the picture (micrograph) from the SEM is due to not only the optics of the microscope, but the way in which the sample was prepared and precisely cross sectioned from a larger chunk of shale through the use of a special ion-beam cross section polisher. This tool has become indispensable for oil shale analysis.

One of today's hottest areas of potential under-utilized energy resources is shale. Abundant in specific regions of the United States, oil shale is a fine-grained, sedimentary rock composed of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments of other minerals, especially quartz and calcite. Shale also has a complex network of soft veins of an organic substance, kerogen and accessory opaque minerals such as pyrite.

When heated, kerogen can release hydrocarbons, or fossil fuel. By studying the internal composition of the shale and the network of kerogen filled veins, scientists can determine the abundance and ease of extraction of oil.

Companies investigating this alternative source of energy have turned to JEOL for not only the electron microscope, but a unique sample preparation tool that creates pristine cross sections of oil shale. Without this tool, it is difficult to prepare cross sections of shale without distorting and smearing the soft veins of kerogen trapped in the composite.

The JEOL cross section polisher slices and polished the sliver of shale with an argon beam to yield undistorted, precise cross sections. Every detail can be clearly seen, allowing researchers to clearly see the network of veins of kerogen in the sample, and can take the imaging a step further to make 3D reconstructions of the pore network by using a Serial Slicing and Sampling technique with the Multibeam focused ion beam (FIB) instrument. To see more images of shale and other energy-related micrographs, visit www.jeolusa.com and click on the applications tab.

####

About JEOL
JEOL is a world leader in electron optical equipment and instrumentation for high-end scientific and industrial research and development. Core product groups include electron microscopes (SEMs and TEMs), instruments for the semiconductor industry (electron beam lithography and a series of defect review and inspection tools), and analytical instruments including mass spectrometers, NMRs and ESRs.

JEOL USA, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of JEOL, Ltd., Japan, was incorporated in the United States in 1962. The company has 13 regional service centers that offer unlimited emergency service and support in the U.S.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Patricia Corkum
Marketing Manager
978-536-2273

Copyright © JEOL

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Unraveling the crystal structure of a -70° Celsius superconductor, a world first: Significant advancement in the realization of room-temperature superconductors August 25th, 2016

Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics August 25th, 2016

AIM Photonics Announces Release of Process Design Kit (PDK) for Integrated Silicon Photonics Design August 25th, 2016

Semblant to Present at China Mobile Manufacturing Forum 2016 August 25th, 2016

Announcements

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

Silicon nanoparticles trained to juggle light: Research findings prove the capabilities of silicon nanoparticles for flexible data processing in optical communication systems August 25th, 2016

Johns Hopkins scientists track metabolic pathways to find drug combination for pancreatic cancer August 25th, 2016

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Tools

Nanofiber scaffolds demonstrate new features in the behavior of stem and cancer cells August 25th, 2016

50 years after the release of the film 'Fantastic Voyage,' science upstages fiction: Science upstages fiction with nanorobotic agents designed to travel in the human body to treat cancer August 25th, 2016

University of Puerto Rico and NASA back in the news – XEI reports August 23rd, 2016

Spider silk: Mother Nature's bio-superlens August 22nd, 2016

Energy

New electrical energy storage material shows its power: Nanomaterial combines attributes of both batteries and supercapacitors August 25th, 2016

Lehigh engineer discovers a high-speed nano-avalanche: New findings published in the Journal of Electrochemical Society about the process involving transformations in glass that occur under intense electrical and thermal conditions could lead the way to more energy-efficient glas August 24th, 2016

New flexible material can make any window 'smart' August 23rd, 2016

Researchers reduce expensive noble metals for fuel cell reactions August 22nd, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic