Laboratory Simulation of Petroleum Formation

Hydrous Pyrolysis
  • M. D. Lewan
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 11)


The importance of water in laboratory experiments designed to simulate natural processes is well documented in the studies of granite melts (Goranson, 1931, 1932; Tuttle and Bowen, 1958), metamorphic reactions (Winkler, 1974, p. 15; Rumble et al., 1982; Ferry, 1983), and coal formation (Berl and Schmidt, 1932; Schuhmacher et al., 1960). Industrial processes also benefit from the presence of water as demonstrated in oil shale retorting (Gavin, 1922, p. 181), conversion of coal to oil (Fischer, 1925, p. 180), heavy oil upgrading (McCollum and Quick, 1976a, b), and conversion of organic refuse to oil (Appell et al., 1971, 1975). Prior to 1979, organic geochemists inadvertently ignored these observations and the ubiquity of water in sedimentary basins when considering the natural process of petroleum generation. A notable exception is the work reported by Jurg and Eisma in 1964. Noting differences in the thermal decomposition of behenic acid in the presence and absence of liquid water, these investigators suggested that water played an important role in petroleum generation.


Source Rock Rock Sample Crushed Rock Petroleum Generation Petroleum Formation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. D. Lewan
    • 1
  1. 1.Amoco Production Company, Research CenterTulsaUSA

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