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Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Characterization of Petroleum

Petroleum and Liquid Fossil Fuels Analysis

  1. Francis P. Miknis,
  2. Daniel A. Netzel

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a1828

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry

How to Cite

Miknis, F. P. and Netzel, D. A. 2006. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Characterization of Petroleum. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. Western Research Institute, Laramie, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a powerful analytical method for determining the structure of an organic material. Developments in NMR have allowed high-resolution spectra of materials in the solid state to be obtained. Thus, materials that have been intractable, such as kerogens and sedimentary organic matter, can now be characterized for their organic carbon structure. The combination of solid- and liquid-state NMR makes NMR one of the most useful methods for the characterization of petroleum and its products.

Petroleum is formed from the maturation of sedimentary organic matter as a result of burial over geological timescales. Everyone is familiar with the products of petroleum, i.e. gasoline, diesel fuels, chemicals, and so on. All these materials, including the petroleum source rock material, can now be studied by NMR, from the genesis of petroleum to finished products such as transportation fuels. In this article, some applications of solid- and liquid-state NMR to the characterization of petroleum source rocks and petroleum end products are described.