Using small angle neutron scattering (SANS) for a systematic understanding of the pore structure of mudrocks of different origin
Mudrocks are naturally defined by a broad range of pore size distribution, from macropores through mesopores and micropores. A large fraction of the porosity is associated with pores smaller than 2nm, which is partly inaccessible or non-resolvable to several invasion or microscopy methods.
Contrary to such standard techniques, Small Angle (SANS) and Very Small Angle Neutron Scattering (VSANS) techniques have shown to provide a detailed resolution of the shale pore space, providing connected and non-connected porosity, as well as pore size distribution, specific surface area and fractal dimension.
Image-based modelling associated with neutron scattering can accordingly make a contribution to a better understanding of fluid flow in shales. Within this project we will perform new SANS measurements and rely on existing datasets to better understand and quantify the pore space of mudrocks which is of relevance for unconventional gas production and seal integrity for carbon storage.
Dr Andreas Busch and Dr Jingsheng Ma