What to Know About NMR Spectroscopy

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What to Know About NMR Spectroscopy

There is always a need for advanced scientific instruments for observing matter and sensing energy of all types, from microscopes and telescopes to barometers for studying air pressure. Meanwhile, what about process NMR tech and boron NMR? NMR stands for “nuclear magnetic resonance,” and it is vital for studying how liquids can flow through rock matter, in order to study the pores and capillaries inside. The process NMR is useful for helping engineers figure out how to maintain oil wells, for example, and this technology has proven itself for decades by now. What else should be known about the use of tabletop NMR devices and NMR spectrometers?

Using Process NMR Tech

The earliest examples of NMR technology go back to the year 1946, when Felix Bloch and Edward Mills Purcell demonstrated it (and shared the Nobel prize for it in 1952). During the 1950s, some of the first commercial spectrometers were made and sold, and chemists were quick to adopt them for their work. Early models of commercial spectrometers made use of conventional electromagnets, but that changed by the 1960s. Superconducting magnets soon became the new standard among chemists in that decade, and around that time, Richard Ernst first demonstrated the use of Fourier transform nuclear magnetic resonance (or FT NMR). This new technology soon replaced earlier scanning techniques used by chemists and other scientists. And by the 2010s, magnet technology had reached new heights at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. A team there set a world record with their powerful nondestructive magnet field, which could generate 100.75 tesla. This is about 100 times stronger than a junkyard’s magnet, and around 30 times stronger than the field created during a medical MRI scan.

Using NMR Spectroscopy

Often, it is chemists who use process NMR methods to measure the content and qualities of rock samples. This method is more cost-effective than older methods, and it can easily measure capillary pressure and fluid types in nearly any rock sample used during a test. The idea is to use oils and similar liquids inside a rock sample to measure the pores and capillaries inside, and that reveals essential data about porosity and pore size distribution with ease. It may also be noted that process NMR methods require relatively little expertise and training, making NMR methods easy to use.

Identifying the location and movement of the oil or mercury inside a rock sample is the other half of this work, and the sample is placed in a magnetic field and excited with a short burst of radio frequency (RF) energy. This pulse causes an NMR signal to appear, and that signal will naturally fade away during its decay time (known as T2). Any scientist using this method will find out the signal’s amplitude almost right after the RF pulse is made, and that will reveal how much fluid is present in the rock sample. The T2’s data, meanwhile, will describe details of the physical environment of those fluids.

However, similar thick fluids, such as heavy oils and patially-bound water, are liable to give off similar T2 values, making them difficult to tell apart. To fix this, scientists pay attention to their diffusion characteristics, which are likely to be different. If both the T2 and the diffusion data are noted and studied, then the scientist at work can identify the fluid type with reasonable accuracy. The whole time, the scientist is using specialized software and computers to collect and manage all this information.

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