Home > New NIR spectrometer designed to analyse bitumen in oil sands

New NIR spectrometer designed to analyse bitumen in oil sands

Editorial
article image The oreXpress enables geologists to scan and identify bitumen content in oil sands quickly without any sample preparation

The oreXpress spectrometer from Spectral Evolution with EZ-ID software is a very useful tool for exploration of oil sands and analysis of bitumen content on-site to gauge the economic viability of a potential discovery. The oreXpress enables geologists to scan and identify bitumen content in oil sands quickly without any sample preparation.

Discovery can usually be impacted since deposits are not homogeneous and may include variability in clay, bitumen, and fines. The correlation of bitumen concentration can be gauged from oil absorption features in the spectra. Key features for water, clays and oil occur at 1400nm, 1720nm, 1940nm, 2200nm, and 2310nm. Current analysis methods are costly and time-consuming and typically result in destruction of the sample. However, an assessment of total bitumen content (TBC) on-site can deliver a tremendous asset.

Key features and benefits of the oreXpress spectrometer include rapid data/spectra collection in the field; high signal to noise ratio for improved reflectance values; fast start-up and use with no optimisation step required between scans; sturdy construction to handle field conditions; reliability with no moving optics and a robust metal clad fibre optic cable connector with easy-disconnect fibre; and rugged and reliable mineral contact probe for single click field measurements.

The oreXpress with EZ-ID software matches the unknown target mineral against a known spectral library. EZ-ID is available with the USGS library and the SpecMIN library from Spectral International. Additionally, the Custom Library Builder module allows the geologist to quickly create their own application and location specific library of spectra for oil sands and bitumen.

SpecMIN includes an extensive and dynamic library of over 494 infrared active mineral species with nearly 4,000 spectra. This unique spectral library includes a minimum of two different samples per mineral.

Key features of EZ-ID software include fast and accurate identification of an unknown mineral to a known library sample; ease of use with immediate match results in real time; simple, consistent user interface; allows inclusion or exclusion of spectral regions of interest for optimal results; and fast scanning for optimum field work or core shack logging.

Spectral Evolution is a leading manufacturer of laboratory and handheld portable spectrometers, spectroradiometers and spectrophotometers.  

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