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Infrared spectroscopy quantification of functional carbon groups in kerogens and coals: A calibration procedure

Abstract : The determination of the abundances of the CHx, C=O and aromatic groups in chondritic Insoluble Organic Matter (IOM) and coals by Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is a challenging issue due to insufficient knowledge on the absorption cross-sections and their sensitivity to the molecular environment. Here, we report a calibration approach based on a 13C synthetic model material whose composition was unambiguously determined by Direct-Pulse/Magic Angle Spinning Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (DP/MAS NMR). Ratios of the cross-sections of the CHx, C=O and aromatic groups have been determined, and the method has been applied to IOM samples extracted from four chondrites as Orgueil (CI), Murchison (CM), Tagish Lake (C2-ungrouped) and EET 92042 (CR), and to a series of coals. The estimate of the aliphatic to aromatic carbon ratio (nCHx/nAro) in IOM samples from Orgueil, Murchison and Tagish Lake chondrites is in good agreement with Single-Pulse/NMR estimates earlier published, and is lower by a factor of 1.3 in the case of the CR chondrite EET 92042 (but the error bars overlap). In contrast, the aliphatic to carbonyl ratio (nCHx/nC=O) is overestimated for the four chondrites. These discrepancies are likely due to the control of the absorption cross-section of the C=O and C=C bonds by the local molecular environment. Regarding coals, the use of published NMR analyses has brought to light that the integrated cross-section ratio ACHx/AAro varies with the vitrinite reflectance over an order of magnitude. Here as well, the local oxygen speciation plays a critical control in AAro, which decreases with increasing the vitrinite reflectance. We provide an analytical law that links ACHx/AAro and vitrinite reflectance, which will allow the determination of nCHx/nAro for any coal sample, provided its vitrinite reflectance is known.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 11:03:34 AM
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van T.H. Phan, Eric Quirico, Pierre Beck, Yann Le Brech, Lora Jovanovic, et al.. Infrared spectroscopy quantification of functional carbon groups in kerogens and coals: A calibration procedure. Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy [1994-..], Elsevier, 2021, 259 (October), pp.119853. ⟨10.1016/j.saa.2021.119853⟩. ⟨insu-03208201⟩

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