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

Halas wins American Physical Society's Lilienfeld Prize: Rice University nanoscientist honored for pioneering research in plasmonics October 23rd, 2017

GTC Shanghai Highlights GF’s Momentum in China: Company shares details of technology roadmap and customer adoption in the world’s fastest-growing market for semiconductors October 23rd, 2017

Nanobiotix completes patient inclusion for Phase II/III trial of NBTXR3 in soft tissue sarcoma October 23rd, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) October 23rd, 2017

Announcements

Nanobiotix completes patient inclusion for Phase II/III trial of NBTXR3 in soft tissue sarcoma October 23rd, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) October 23rd, 2017

Researchers bring optical communication onto silicon chips: Ultrathin films of a semiconductor that emits and detects light can be stacked on top of silicon wafers October 23rd, 2017

Nanotube fiber antennas as capable as copper: Rice University researchers show their flexible fibers work well but weigh much less October 23rd, 2017

Tools

Creation of coherent states in molecules by incoherent electrons October 21st, 2017

Bringing the atomic world into full color: Researchers turn atomic force microscope measurements into color images October 19th, 2017

Nanometrics Announces Preliminary Results for the Third Quarter of 2017: Quarterly Results Impacted by Delays in Revenue Recognition on Multiple Systems into Japan October 12th, 2017

Seeing the next dimension of computer chips: Researchers image perfectly smooth side-surfaces of 3-D silicon crystals with a scanning tunneling microscope, paving the way for smaller and faster computing devices October 11th, 2017

Energy

New nanomaterial can extract hydrogen fuel from seawater: Hybrid material converts more sunlight and can weather seawater's harsh conditions October 4th, 2017

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

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