Extraction

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The thermal extractor performs gas chromatography and gas chromatography mass spectrometry in addition to extraction. By performing these analyses in a closed system, the thermal extractor ensures that light ends are not lost.

The thermal extractor performs gas chromatography and gas chromatography mass spectrometry in addition to extraction. By performing these analyses in immediate succession in a closed system, the thermal extractor ensures that light ends are not lost.

Extraction is a process of separating absorbed compounds from the rock matrix by repeatedly flushing the sample (continuous extraction) with an appropriate solvent.  In Soxhlet extraction, the powdered samples are extracted with dichloromethane, a polar solvent very effective at extracting and dissolving oils.  The soluble organic matter can then be analyzed by a variety of techniques, including gas chromatography (GC), gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and stable carbon isotopic composition to compare source rocks and relate them to recovered oils.

Thermal extraction replicates the results of Soxhlet extraction of rock samples by continuous heating of a sample. While solvent extraction can lead to loss by evaporation of the light ends, the thermal extractor functions as a closed system, performing subsequent analysis by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometryof the thermally-extracted compounds.  The data obtained, including the lighter compounds, can be used for oil-source characterization and correlation.