Energy & Fuels, Vol.33, No.7, 6283-6293, 2019
Impact of Water Pressure on the Organic Matter Evolution from Hydrous Pyrolysis
Deep oil and gas, as an important part to make up the energy-deficient. A series of breakthroughs had been made in their exploration and development in the past few years. However, the effects of deep fluids during hydrocarbon formation and evolution are still an ambiguous problem. Therefore, to investigate the effect of water pressure (P-W) on hydrocarbon generation and thermal evolution of type-I, type-II, and type-III kerogens in a deeper stratum, three series of pyrolysis experiments were conducted on three samples with different kerogen types (types II1, I, and III in TC, YMS, and XJ samples, respectively) in a high-temperature, high-pressure simulator. The type-I kerogen was pyrolyzed with 5, 20, 35, 50, 65, and 80 MPa water pressure at 375 degrees C for 48 h, whereas the type-II and type-III kerogens were pyrolyzed with 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 MPa water pressure at 350 degrees C for 48 h. The results showed that there was a threshold pressure PW affecting liquid hydrocarbons. In addition, before the threshold pressure, P-W played a role in promoting, but then it was the inhibiting. For gaseous hydrocarbons, while the pressure effects and results were the same as with liquid hydrocarbons in TC samples under the near-critical or critical state, they had no obvious effects in YMS and XJ samples before the critical state, which proved that the organic matter (OM) evolution was associated with the state of fluid in the reaction system and the effects were stronger when the fluid was under the near-critical or critical state than when it is not under this state. The reasons could be concluded as follows: (1) the different properties of water, as the ionization product constant of water (K(w)) was higher in TC samples and may provide more H+ to participate in the OM reactions compared to YMS and XJ samples. Moreover, the particular characteristics of intersolubility with organic solvent occurred under near-critical or critical states, resulting in the more water-soluble hydrocarbons being expelled in TC samples. (2) Chemical mechanism: based on the first-order reaction equation for oil-gas generation and essential characters of samples and experiments, it can be concluded that the influence degree of PW on OM evolution was related to the type of OM, the thermal maturity as well as the nature of water. (3) Physical mechanism: the vapor in free space and generated hydrocarbons in pores were in a dynamic balance state, which also resulted in the existence of threshold pressure P-W affecting OM evolution. Therefore, understanding the effects of P-W on OM evolution would help us to study the oil-gas generation accurately in actual geology and help preferably in oil-gas exploration and exploitation.