A novel pore size classification method of coals: Investigation based on NMR relaxation

Sijian Zheng, Yanbin Yao, Derek Elsworth, Bo Wang, Yong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) severs as a nondestructive and relative new technique that has been widely used in characterizing reservoir fluids and pore size distribution (PSD) of coals. Conventionally, pore fluids in coals are classified into movable fluid and irreducible fluid based on a single NMR T2 cutoff value (T2C). However, the single NMR T2 cutoffs model has some apparent defects in pore fluid/size classification, and few researches have reported the limitation of the single T2 cutoffs model. In contrast, the dual T2 cutoffs model may provide an accurate quantified model to classify different pore fluid types in coals. In this study, fifteen coal samples with different ranks were conducted in systematic NMR and centrifugal experiments to investigate the characteristics of pore fluid typing and PSD. Results show that when tried applying the single NMR T2 cutoffs model to classify the pore fluid typing, there are still some movable fluids when T2 < T2C. At the same time, when T2 > T2C, there is remaining some irreducible fluid in pores after high pressure centrifugal experiments. These results indicated the limited application of single NMR T2 cutoffs model in pore fluid classification. By introducing a novel pore fluid classification method (i.e. the dual T2 cutoffs model), a typical T2 spectrum under fully-saturated condition, the absolute irreducible fluid T2 cutoffs (T2C1) and absolute movable fluid T2 cutoff (T2C2) can re-divide the pore fluid typing of coal into three types: absolute irreducible fluid (T2 < T2C1), partial movable fluid (T2C1 < T2 < T2C2), and absolute movable fluid (T2 > T2C2). The results show that the T2C1 is in the range of 0.10–0.32 ms, while the T2C2 has a wider range from 36.12 ms to 89.07 ms. Finally, a conceptional model were proposed to clarify a full-scale PSD classification that includes the absolute irreducible fluid pores, partial movable fluid pores and absolute movable fluid pores. The model established in this study, can also be applicable for other rock types (e.g., sandstones, carbonates and shales).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103466
JournalJournal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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