Laboratory Equipment

Advanced Petrophysical Laboratory

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Magritek Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Analyzer

This 2 MHz NMR spectrometer provides measurements of transverse relaxation (T2), longitudinal relaxation (T1), and diffusivity (D), which enable assessment of rock/fluid properties such as porosity, pore-size distribution, fluid saturations, and permeability as well as fluid characterization.

Some unique specifications of this equipment are listed as follows:

  • Provides measurements under controlled temperature and pressure of up to 150°C and 6000 psi, respectively.
  • Enables measurements on core samples of 1” and 1.5” diameter and 60 mm length
  • It can provide minimum echo time of 40μs and signal to noise ratio of up to 400.
  • Provides capability of performing CPMG pulse sequence as well as any other desired pulse sequence.
  • Enables assessment of saturation profile along the length of core samples as well as volumetric measurements.

HAWK Pyrolysis Equipment

The HAWK instrument measures all the classical pyrolysis parameters (S1, S2, S3, and Tmax) and TOC (Total Organic Carbon) using approximately 100 milligrams of 60 mesh size ground rock sample. In addition, the HAWK instrument measures inorganic carbon and provides the carbonate carbon content of the rock samples.

Some unique specifications of this equipment are listed as follows:

  • The equipment is fully electronic and contains an autoloader which can run up to 126 samples at one time.
  • The oven temperature of the equipment can reach 850 °C which ensures complete pyrolysis of difficult to break-down Type III kerogen and also enables complete decomposition of carbonates such as calcite and dolomite.

 Pulse Decay Permeameter (PDP)

The GCTS pulse decay permeameter is an equipment designed to measure the decay of a pressure pulse traveling from an upstream chamber containing Nitrogen (N2) through a core plug sample and a downstream chamber containing N2. The pressure decay data versus time is the used to compute the permeability of the core plug sample. This equipment is used to measure permeability of tight (low permeability) rock samples.

Specifications of this equipment are listed as follows:

  • Working pressure: 20 MPA (2900.75 psi)
  • Pressure transducer accuracy: 0.25%
  • Capable to quantifying minimum permeability of 0.1 microdarcy
  • Capable of performing measurements on any desired cylindrical core sample. Sample size is determined by the core holder employed for the measurements.

Keysight E5071C Network Analyzer, Keysight E4991B Impedance Analyzer, Multi-Frequency Impedance Analyzer (MFIA, Zurich Instruments)

The E5071C network analyzer, the E4991B Impedance Analyzer, and the MFIA can quantify the complex dielectric permittivity of any given material, including rock samples with varying saturation levels and different types of fluids, in the frequency range from 300 kHz to 20 GHz, 1MHz to 1GHz, and DC to 500 kHz, respectively. The multifrequency complex electrical response provides information about the fluid type, dominant minerals, spatial distribution of fluids and wettability, as well as interfacial polarization mechanisms such as the electric double layer. High temperature probes enable measurements of up to 200 oC in the frequency range from 200 MHz to 20 GHz.

Oxford Instruments GeoSpec2 2 MHz benchtop NMR system

T1, T2, and diffusion measurements, plus 2D measurements and spatially-resolved T2 slices in the axial direction

takes cylindrical rock samples up to 1.5” diameter and 7 cm long

Operates at ambient temperature

Hydrostatic pressure up to 5000 psi for 1” diameter samples

Micromeritics 3Flex surface analyzer

Sorption isotherm measurements using N2, CO2, Ar, Xe, Kr, and other gases

Surface area and pore size distribution measurements

Nanoscope Atomic Force Microscope

The Dimension 3100 Scanning Probe Microscope (SPM) produces high-resolution, threedimensional images by scanning a sharp tip over the sample surface. The tip is part of a flexible cantilever mounted on one end of a cylindrical piezoelectric tube mounted near the top of the microscope. Voltages applied to the X and Y electrodes on the piezoelectric tube deflect the tube horizontally to produce a precise raster scan over the sample surface. A voltage applied to the Z electrode on the piezo tube controls the vertical height of the tip. A stepper motor coupled to a lead screw translates a slide with the sample attached. A separate motor drive controls the height of the microscope and tip relative to the sample surface.

 Ultra High Speed Centrifuge

The Beckman L8M is a microprocessor controlled preparative ultracentrifuge used to generate centrifugal forces for the separation of particles, The Beckman L8M ultracentrifuge can work with many of the Beckman family of ultracentrifuge rotors. The Beckman L8M features the ultra-smooth variable-frequency induction drive; dual program memory; dual purpose digital displays; touch switch's numeric keypad; programmed operation and 10 deceleration profiles. A digital display, indicates vacuum level, rotor speed, rotor temperature, run time remaining or elapsed , and accumulated centrifugal effect (Ω2t). Actual operation conditions of the instrument are displayed unless either the system is in input mode, or display toggle is set away from display mode. IN this case the selected values for the run show for 5 seconds.

PVT System

The PVT system can measure phase behavior and volume for a wide range of temperature and pressure (max. 35 MPa and 250degC).  Pressures, temperatures, and volumes are recorded by the data acquisition system.  It is equipped with a CCS camera for visual observation of phase behavior.

Steam Generator Injection System

The steam generator can generate high-pressure steam up to 250degC and 4.0 MPa at a maximum rate of 200 cc/min (cold-water equivalent volume).  Operating data are recorded by the data acquisition system.

Rheology Laboratory

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proRheo LS 300 Viscometer

Technical information Measuring ranges: depending on measuring system used Viscosity 1,5 x 10-3 – 6,0 106 mPas Shear stress 2,0 x 10-5 – 6,0 10-1 mPa Shear rate 3,5 x 10-3 – 2,5 102 s-1 Filling-in volume: depending on measuring system used Volume 0,07 – 2,4 cm3 Accuracies: Torque < 1,5 % Rotational speed < 0,5 % Temperature: Rheometer system 10°C – 50 °C Test substance max. 80°C


The ARES-LS is an advance rheometer with the high performance LS air bearing motor and patented Force Rebalance Transducer™ (FRT). The ARES-LS1 includes the 1KFRTN1 and is the only rheometer in the world capable of providing inertia-free dynamic measurements of low viscosity structured fluids. Angular Velocity Range 2x10-6 - 200 rad/s Strain Amplitude 5 µrad - 500 mrad Angular Frequency 10-5 - 500 rad/s Transducer 2KFRTN1  Torque Range 2 µN.m - 200 mN.m Normal/Axial Force Range 0.002 - 20 N  Auto Gap Set Standard Standard Motor Bearings Jeweled Air Jeweled Air Temperature Control Options Peltier Plate -30 to 150 °C  °C Bath -10 to 150 °C Forced Convection Oven (FCO) -150 to 600 °C


The ARES-G2 is the most advanced rheometer for research and material development. It is the only rheometer with dual-head, or separate motor and transducer, technology for the PUREST rheological measurements. No other rheometer is capable of measuring stress independently of the applied shear deformation.

Force/Torque Rebalance Transducer (Sample Stress) Transducer Type Force/Torque Rebalance Transducer Torque Motor Brushless DC Transducer Normal/Axial Motor Brushless DC Minimum Transducer Torque in Oscillation 0.05 μN.m Minimum Transducer Torque in Steady Shear 0.1 μN.m Maximum Transducer Torque 200 mN.m Transducer Torque Resolution 1 nN.m Transducer Normal/Axial Force Range 0.001 to 20 N Transducer Bearing Groove Compensated Air Separate Motor (Sample Deformation) Maximum Motor Torque 800 mN.m Motor Design Brushless DC Motor Bearing Jeweled Air, Sapphire Displacement Control/Sensing Optical Encoder Strain Resolution 0.04 μrad Min. Angular Displacement in Oscillation 1 μrad Max. Angular Displacement in Steady Shear Unlimited Angular Velocity Range 1 x 10-6 rad/s to 300 rad/s Angular Frequency Range 1 x 10-7 rad/s to 628 rad/s Step Change in Velocity 5 ms Step Change in Strain 10 ms Stepper Motor Movement/Positioning Micro-stepping Motor/Precision lead Screw Position Measurement Linear Optical Encoder Positioning Accuracy 0.1 micron Temperature Systems Smart Swap Standard Forced Convection Oven.

Geomechanics Laboratory

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High-pressure high-temperature triaxial frame

The triaxial load frame apparatus is composed by: (1) the triaxial frame itself including the pressure vessel, (2) pressure intensifiers to control radial and axial stress, (3) accumulators and injection pumps, and (4) a control panel and acquisition system. Components (1), (2), and (4) have been manufactured by TerraTek Rock Mechanics and Core Analysis Services. Component (3) has been manufactured by an ISCO and by Phoenix Instruments (Limited to 35 MPa). The triaxial cell can host rock specimens ranging in size 1”, 1.5”, 2”, and 4” diameter (Figure 2). Endcaps are equipped with ultrasonic transducers. Maximum working pressure and temperature are 140 MPa and 150°C respectively. The setup is located at the Energy Geomechanics Applied Laboratory (EAGLe) in CPE building on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.

Imaging Center

Micro X-Ray Scanner

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The X-ray microtomograph Nikon XT-H 225 with 225 kV microfocus X-ray source with 3 µm focal spot size and an X-ray detector Varian Paxscan 1500 by 1900 pixels. In addition, we have developed specialized core holders to image geological media under subsurface pressure and temperature conditions.  The default microfocus source is equipped with a reflection target, offering a 3 micron spot size. With the optional transmission target, you obtain an even smaller spot size and higher magnification capability. Regardless of the target of choice, the XT H 225 system uses an open-tube X-ray source.

CT Scanner

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Universal Systems HD-350E CT scanner. This CT scanner is a modified medical scanner and is ideal for imaging and quantifying fluid saturations within porous media. The scanner is tiltable and can image columns in both horizontal and vertical configurations. The scanner has scan times of 1-4 seconds, tunable x-ray energies from 80-140 kV, and tube currents from 20-200 mA. The images are 512x512 with 0.3 mm voxel resolution. System is up and running.