X-Ray Diffraction (XRD)
X-Ray Diffraction (known as XRD) is an analytical tool used to identify atomic and molecular structures of the crystalline materials in samples.
In the Petroleum Industry, it is commonly used to identify mineralogy in a semi-quantitatively way. XRD uses induced X-Rays (CuKα) and by analyzing and interpreting the refraction patterns of these reflected X-Rays after hitting the sample, it can thus be used as a diagnostic tool for identification of mineralogy. Not only are we able to qualitatively identify phases (minerals) but also semi-quantify sample mineralogy to a high degree.
In addition to having trained specialist interpreting the results, we also use advanced software and analytical techniques such as Rietveld Refinement and Full Pattern Fitting in order to increase accuracy and precision of our analyses. Clays are separated from the bulk fraction by a sedimentation method, and mounted on zero background holders to minimize background interference. Samples are processed, treated and prepared according to internal SOPs in a way that minimizes potential errors such as preferred orientation, and a Beta filter on our Rigaku MiniFlex II ensures the reduction of undesired X-ray signals.
To identify and quantify the clays we use several different sample treatments such as humidity control, glycolation, dimethyl sulfoxide exposure, cation exchange, and heat treatment. Each one of these treatments helps to identify and quantify the clay minerals properly.