U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1054

Published 2006
Online only
Version 1.0

A Procedure for the Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Coal Samples, with Subsequent Analysis of Extracted Hydrocarbons

By Jonathan J. Kolak


This report provides a detailed, step-by-step procedure for conducting extractions with supercritical carbon dioxide (CO2) using the ISCO SFX220 supercritical fluid extraction system. Protocols for the subsequent separation and analysis of extracted hydrocarbons are also included in this report. These procedures were developed under the auspices of the project "Assessment of Geologic Reservoirs for Carbon Dioxide Sequestration" (see http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs026-03/fs026-03.pdf) to investigate possible environmental ramifications associated with CO2 storage (sequestration) in geologic reservoirs, such as deep (~1 km below land surface) coal beds.

Supercritical CO2 has been used previously to extract contaminants from geologic matrices. Pressure-temperature conditions within deep coal beds may render CO2 supercritical. In this context, the ability of supercritical CO2 to extract contaminants from geologic materials may serve to mobilize noxious compounds from coal, possibly complicating storage efforts. There currently exists little information on the physicochemical interactions between supercritical CO2 and coal in this setting. The procedures described herein were developed to improve the understanding of these interactions and provide insight into the fate of CO2 and contaminants during simulated CO2 injections.


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For questions or comments concerning the scientific content of this report, contact Jonathan J. Kolak.

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