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  • Conference paper
    Montgomery W, Sephton MA, Court RW, Watson JS, Zeng H, Rees Aet al., 2013,

    Quantitative Laboratory Assessment Of Aquathermolysis Chemistry During Steam-assisted Recovery Of Heavy Oils And Bitumen, With A Focus On Sulfur

    , SPE Heavy Oil Conference, Publisher: Society of Petroleum Engineers

    The production of gaseous sulfur-containing species during the steam-assisted recovery of heavy oil and bitumen presents problems owing to their toxicity, corrosion properties and odor. In order to quantitatively study aquathermolysis sulfur chemistry during the thermal (steam-assisted) recovery of heavy oils we have subjected a well-characterized and sulfur-rich bitumen core sample to 150 - 325°C and 70 - 1740 psia (0.48 - 12 MPa) conditions in the continued presence of liquid water for 24 hours. The reaction products include gases, oil flotate, oil sinkate, water-soluble products, and water- insoluble residues. All have been studied with a variety of analytical techniques, including FTIR spectroscopy, chromatographic fractionation (SARA analysis), GC-FPD and GC-MS. Moreover, these techniques have been extended to analysis of the asphaltene fractions. Results suggest that some in-situ upgrading of the oil occurs under these conditions; additionally, gaseous hydrogen sulfide is released at temperatures at and above 250 °C. Variations in the relative abundances of solubility classes and chemical fractions imply that the source of sulfur is via the thermal degradation of resins and/or asphaltenes. The experimental methods, results and quantification approach discussed herein will be useful to support the development of models for engineering design of facilities for the steam-assisted recovery of heavy oils and bitumen.

  • Journal article
    Sephton MA, Sims MR, Court RW, Luong D, Cullen DCet al., 2013,

    Searching for biomolecules on Mars: Considerations for Operation of a Life Marker Chip instrument

    , Planetary and Space Science, Vol: 86, Pages: 66-74, ISSN: 0032-0633

    The search for life on Mars requires instruments that detect organic matter and discriminate between potential sources. One such instrument is the Life Marker Chip that recognizes small molecules which are characteristic of particular organic provenances. The use of an antibody-based detection system requires the delivery of small organic compounds in a suitable solvent. Dedicated extraction protocols have been developed partly through the use of a Life Marker Chip breadboard system. Techniques which provide the strong diagnostic potential of the Life Marker Chip necessitate specific extraction protocols and appropriate sample types. Clay mineral-rich rocks are attractive targets owing to their i) association with liquid water, ii) propensity for organic matter and clay mineral co-deposition following transport from a wide hinterland, and iii) relatively large surface area and therefore potential for trapping/adsorption of organic materials. The most appropriate target organic compounds are the hydrocarbon-dominated lipids that can be highly diagnostic and have relatively high preservation potentials. The sample sites on Mars and sample preparation steps that are needed for successful detection require careful consideration. In this paper we explore the scientific results that may be obtained through the operation of a Life Marker Chip instrument on Mars.

  • Journal article
    Montgomery W, Court RW, Rees AC, Sephton MAet al., 2013,

    High temperature reactions of water with heavy oil and bitumen: insights into aquathermolysis chemistry during steam-assisted recovery

    , Fuel, Vol: 113, Pages: 426-426, ISSN: 0016-2361

    To better understand the hot water-mediated organic transformation process (aquathermolysis) that occurs during the steam-assisted recovery of heavy oils and bitumen we have performed a series of experiments that subject a heavy oil to progressively higher temperatures and pressures in the presence of liquid water. As temperature and pressure increases, from ambient conditions to 300 °C and 1250 psig (8.6 MPa), a floating oil (flotate) is generated and is composed of mostly aliphatic hydrocarbons that appear to be generated at the expense of polars and asphaltenes. Analyses of hopane maturity parameters for the flotate indicate lower temperatures than the starting material suggesting the liberation of hopanes and, therefore, other hydrocarbons, from asphaltenes. Infrared spectra confirm changes in overall organic constitution as the relative abundance of hydrocarbons to oxygen-containing functional groups increases in the flotate. At the highest temperatures and pressures (325 °C, 1750 psig (13.8 MPa)) the flotate is at a maximum relative amount, the untransformed heavy oil is at a minimum and significant amounts of methane are generated indicating the onset of cracking. Steam-assisted recovery of heavy oil, therefore, leads to changes in the chemical constitution of a number of chemical fractions generating a lighter oil and gases that must be taken into account when planning field operations for production.

  • Journal article
    Potter RWK, Kring DA, Collins GS, Kiefer WS, McGovern PJet al., 2013,

    Numerical modeling of the formation and structure of the Orientale impact basin

    , Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, Pages: n/a-n/a, ISSN: 2169-9100
  • Journal article
    Potter RWK, Collins GS, 2013,

    Numerical modeling of asteroid survivability and possible scenarios for the Morokweng crater-forming impact

    , Meteoritics & Planetary Science, Vol: 48, Pages: 744-757, ISSN: 1945-5100
  • Report
    Mustard JF, Adler M, Allwood A, Bass DS, Beaty DW, Bell JF, Brinckerhoff WB, Carr M, Des Marais DJ, Drake B, Edgett KS, Eigenbrode J, Elkins-Tanton LT, Grant JA, Milkovich SM, Ming D, Moore C, Murchie S, Onstott TC, Ruff SW, Sephton MA, Steele A, Treiman Aet al., 2013,

    Report of the Mars 2020 Science Definition Team

    , Report of the Mars 2020 Science Definition Team, Publisher: Mars Exploration Analysis Group (MEPAG)
  • Journal article
    Wainipee W, Cuadros J, Sephton MA, Unsworth C, Gill MG, Strekopytov S, Weiss DJet al., 2013,

    The effects of oil on As(V) adsorption on illite, kaolinite, montmorillonite and chlorite

    , Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol: 121, Pages: 487-502, ISSN: 0016-7037

    The effect of oil on As(V) adsorption on clay minerals has been investigated using batch experiments at low and high pH, NaCl concentration and oil contents. Four clay minerals were chosen because of their abundance in sediments and their different crystal chemistry: illite, kaolinite, montmorillonite, and chlorite. The values for pH were 4 and 8 and salt concentrations were 0.001 and 0.7 M NaCl to appreciate the effects of changing salinity, e.g from fresh water to seawater conditions. For the coating experiments, a well-characterised oil was used to survey the main effects of complex organic mixtures on adsorption and oil to clay mineral (w/w) ratios were 0.0325 and 0.3250. As(V) adsorption increased with increasing NaCl concentration, suggesting that the mechanisms of As(V) adsorption are related to the formation of inner-sphere complexes in which Na+ ions act as bridges between the clay surface and the As(V) anions. Cation bridging is also indicated by zeta potential measurements which show that higher NaCl concentrations along with the presence of As(V) can cause the clay particles and adsorbed ions to have a more negative overall charge. Adsorption is lower at higher pH due to the reduced number of positively charged sites on the edge of clay mineral layers. Oil coating reduces As(V) adsorption by decreasing the available surface area of clay minerals, except in the case of oil-coated montmorillonite, where surface area following dispersion in water is increased. The main variables controlling As(V) adsorption are surface area and surface charge density, as confirmed by a simplified quantitative model. These findings advance our ability to predict the effects of complex pollution events in various freshwater and marine settings.

  • Journal article
    Howard KT, Bailey MJ, Berhanu D, Bland PA, Cressey G, Howard LE, Jeynes C, Mathewman R, Martins Z, Sephton MA, Stolojan V, Verchovsky Set al., 2013,

    Biomass preservation in impact melt ejecta

    , Nature Geoscience

    Meteorites can have played a role in the delivery of life to Earth only if organic compounds are able to survive the high pressures and temperatures of an impact event. Although experimental impact studies have reported the survival of organics there are uncertainties in scaling experimental conditions to those of a meteorite impact on Earth and organic matter has not been found in highly shocked impact materials in a natural setting. Impact glass linked to the 1.2-km-diameter Darwin crater in western Tasmania is strewn over an area exceeding 400 km2 and is thought to have been ejected by a meteorite impact about 800 kyr ago into terrain consisting of rainforest and swamp. Here we use pyrolysis–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to show that biomarkers representative of plant species in the local ecosystem—including cellulose, lignin, aliphatic biopolymer and protein remnants—survived the Darwin impact. We find that inside the impact glass the organic components are trapped in porous carbon spheres.We propose that the organic material was captured within impact melt and preserved when the melt quenched to glass, preventing organic decomposition since the impact. We suggest that organic material can survive capture and transport in products of extreme impact processing, at least for a Darwin-sized impact event.

  • Conference paper
    Dodd S, Muxworthy AR, Mac Niocaill C, 2013,

    Taking the pulse of the Parana-Etendeká large igneous province (poster)

    , IAGA
  • Journal article
    Potter RWK, Kring DA, Collins GS, 2013,

    Quantifying the attenuation of structural uplift beneath large lunar craters

    , Geophysical Research Letters, Vol: 40, Pages: 5615–5620-5615–5620, ISSN: 1944-8007

    Terrestrial crater observations and laboratory experiments demonstrate that target material beneath complex impact craters is uplifted relative to its preimpact position. Current estimates suggest maximum uplift is one tenth of the final crater diameter for terrestrial complex craters and one tenth to one fifth for lunar central peak craters. These latter values are derived from an analytical model constrained by observations from small craters and may not be applicable to larger complex craters and basins. Here, using numerical modeling, we produce a set of relatively simple analytical equations that estimate the maximum amount of structural uplift and quantify the attenuation of uplift with depth beneath large lunar craters.

  • Journal article
    Larner F, Dogra Y, Dybowska A, Fabrega J, Stolpe B, Bridgestock LJ, Goodhead R, Weiss DJ, Moger J, Lead JR, Valsami-Jones E, Tyler CR, Galloway TS, Rehkaemper Met al., 2012,

    Tracing Bioavailability of ZnO Nanoparticles Using Stable Isotope Labeling

    , ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, Vol: 46, Pages: 12137-12145, ISSN: 0013-936X
  • Book chapter
    Elmore RD, Muxworthy AR, Aldana MM, 2012,

    Remagnetization and chemical alteration of sedimentary rocks

    , Remagnetization and Chemical Alteration of Sedimentary Rocks, Editors: Elmore, Muxworthy, Aldana, Mena, London, Publisher: Geological Society
  • Journal article
    Chang L, Roberts AP, Williams W, Fitz Gerald JD, Larrasoana JC, Jovane L, Muxworthy ARet al., 2012,

    Giant magnetofossils and hyperthermal events

    , Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Vol: 351-352, Pages: 258-269
  • Journal article
    Potter RWK, Kring DA, Collins GS, Kiefer WS, McGovern PJet al., 2012,

    Estimating transient crater size using the crustal annular bulge: Insights from numerical modeling of lunar basin-scale impacts

  • Journal article
    Boyle EA, John S, Abouchami W, Adkins JF, Echegoyen-Sanz Y, Ellwood M, Flegal AR, Fornace K, Gallon C, Galer S, Gault-Ringold M, Lacan F, Radic A, Rehkamper M, Rouxel O, Sohrin Y, Stirling C, Thompson C, Vance D, Xue Z, Zhao Yet al., 2012,

    GEOTRACES IC1 (BATS) contamination-prone trace element isotopes Cd, Fe, Pb, Zn, Cu, and Mo intercalibration

    , LIMNOLOGY AND OCEANOGRAPHY-METHODS, Vol: 10, Pages: 653-665, ISSN: 1541-5856
  • Conference paper
    Almeida TP, Muxworthy AR, Williams W, Dunin-Borkowski Ret al., 2012,

    Dynamic exsolution of titanomagnetites and their associated magnetic response examined by complementary environmental TEM and off-axis electron holography

    , European Microscopy Congress
  • Conference paper
    Genge MJ, 2012,


    , 75th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical-Society, Publisher: WILEY, Pages: A145-A145, ISSN: 1086-9379
  • Conference paper
    Giscard MD, Hammond SJ, Bland PA, Benedix GK, Rogers NW, Russell SS, Genge MJ, Rehkaemper Met al., 2012,


    , 75th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical-Society, Publisher: WILEY-BLACKWELL, Pages: A149-A149, ISSN: 1086-9379
  • Book chapter
    Emmerton S, Muxworthy AR, Sephton MA, 2012,

    Magnetic characterization of oil sands at Osmington Mills and Mupe Bay, Wessex Basin, UK

    , Remagnetization and Chemical Alteration of Sedimentary Rocks, Editors: Elmore, Muxworthy, Aldana, Mena, Elmore, Muxworthy, Aldana, Mena, London, Publisher: Geological Society, Pages: 189-198
  • Journal article
    Rehkämper M, Schönbächler M, Andreasen R, 2012,

    Application of Multiple-Collector Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry to Isotopic Analysis in Cosmochemistry

    , Pages: 275-315

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