Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT ICR-MS) was applied in the analysis of shale oils generated using two different pyrolysis systems under laboratory conditions meant to simulate surface and in situ oil shale retorting. Significant variations were observed in the shale oils, particularly the degree of conjugation of the constituent molecules. Comparison of FT ICR-MS results to standard oil characterization methods (API gravity, SARA fractionation, gas chromatography-flame ionization detection) indicated correspondence between the average Double Bond Equivalence (DBE) and asphaltene content. The results show that, based on the average DBE values and DBE distributions of the shale oils examined, highly conjugated species are enriched in samples produced under low pressure, high temperature conditions and in the presence of water.
Additional publication details
Molecular characterization and comparison of shale oils generated by different pyrolysis methods using FT-ICR mass spectrometry