Petroleum that is potentially recoverable from tar sand represents a major source of oil for the United States and the world. In order to develop effective environmental and engineering approaches to tar sand production, many aspects of characterizing of the material must be undertaken. One of the major overlooked aspects of producing bitumen from tar sand is the relationship of organics and inorganic components to processing. Petroleum production from tar sand is controlled by the special characteristics of the material; most specifically, high viscosity of the hydro carbonaceous material, and the porosity and permeability of the host, rock. The development of porosity and permeability in geologic environments is a function of aluminosilicate and/or carbonate mineral stability. Research has demonstrated that organic acids similar to those generated during the processing of tar sand by combustion can affect carbonate and aluminosilicate minerals.