In press: June 9, 2014
Volume 10, Number 4 (August) • UNCONVENTIONAL HYDROCARBONS
Although bearing the simple name “kaolin,” this natural material has a variety of geologic origins and many industrial applications significant to society. Known as china clay, kaolin has a long history dating back to Kauling, China, and its first exploitation in the field of ceramics. Kaolin is one of nature’s most abundant nanomaterials. Its fine, clay-sized particles, unique shapes, and layered structures make it central to Earth’s near-surface critical zone. Concerns for energy efficiency and environmental awareness in the industry have led to advances in mining and reclamation practices. The crystallographic and elemental varieties of kaolin require them to be carefully characterized as they lend themselves for use in plastics, papers, pigments, and ceramics. Kaolin minerals are being probed with computational chemistry and new spectroscopic tools to expand their applications and to understand their significance in biology. We are now exploring how kaolin can be nanocomposited to create materials with novel properties.The realization that unconventional hydrocarbons, such as gas and oil shale, oil sands, and heavy oil, can now be exploited more effectively and economically has stimulated exploration and exploitation on a global scale. This has led to a new economic and environmental landscape in energy matters that we are only now starting to understand. Exploiting unconventional hydrocarbons requires additional technology, energy, and capital compared to the industry standard. This thematic issue will address the geologic and geochemical nature of these resources and their impact on global socioeconomics and the environment.
A publication of the Mineralogical Society of America, the Mineralogical Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the Geochemical Society, the Mineralogical Association of Canada, The Clay Minerals Society, the International Association of GeoChemistry, the European Association of Geochemistry, the Société Française de Minéralogie et de Cristallographie, the Association of Applied Geochemists, the Deutsche Mineralogische Gesellschaft, the International Association of Geoanalysts, the Società Italiana di Mineralogia e Petrologia, the Polskie Towarzystwo Mineralogiczne (Mineralogical Society of Poland), the Sociedad Española de Mineralogía (Spanish Mineralogical Society), the Swiss Society of Mineralogy and Petrology, The Meteoritical Society, and the Japan Association of Mineralogical Sciences.
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