Fluorescence, Petroleum, time-resolved, fluid inclusions
Hydrocarbon-bearing fluid inclusions (HCFI) are microscopic cavities within rocks that are filled with petroleum oil, the composition of which may not have changed since the trapping event. Thus, the composition of that entrapped oil can provide information about the formation and evolution of the oil reservoir. This type of information is important to the petroleum production and exploration industries. Crude oil fluorescence originates from the presence of cyclic aromatic compounds and the nature of the emission is governed by the chemical composition of the oil. Fluorescence based methods are widely used for analysis of crude oil because they offer robust, non-contact and non-destructive measurement options. The goal of our group is the development of a non-destructive analytical method for HCFI usingtime-resolved fluorescence methods.† In broad terms, crude oil fluorescence behavior is governed by the concentration of quenching species and the distribution of fluorophores. For the intensity averaged fluorescence lifetime ( τ ), the best correlations have been found between polar or alkane† concentrations, but these are not suitable for robust, quantitative analysis. We have recently started to investigate another approach for characterizing oils by looking at Time-resolved Emission Spectra (TRES).† TRES are constructed from intensities sampled at discrete times during the fluorescence decay of the sample.† In this study, TRES, from a series of 10 crude oils from the Middle East, have been measured at discrete time gates (0.5 ns, 1 ns, 2 ns, 4 ns) over the 450-700 nm wavelength range. The spectral changes in TRES, such as time gate dependent Stokesí shift and spectral broadening, are analyzed in the context of energy transfer rates. In this work, the efficacy of using TRES for fingerprinting individual oils and HCFI is also demonstrated.