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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Volatile organic acids generated from kerogen during laboratory heating.

Low molecular weight organic acids were studied in the course of pyrolysis experiments (200-400 degrees C, 2-1,000 h) of kerogen (Green River Formation and Monterey Formation) with and without the presence of water and minerals (montmorillonite, illite and calcite). C1- C10 aliphatic acids and benzoic acid were identified in the pyrolysis products of kerogen. Their distribution is characterized by a dominance of acetic acid followed by formic and propionic acids with an even/odd preference in the range of C4- C10. Total concentrations of these acids amounted to 0.3% of initial kerogen, indicating that kerogen has a good potential for producing organic acids. Geochemical implications of these organic acids are; (1) they are possible intermediates from kerogen to natural gas (CO2, H2, CH4, C2H6, etc.) by decarboxylation, and (2) they may be important and potential contributors to the generation of secondary porosity by dissolving minerals.[1]


  1. Volatile organic acids generated from kerogen during laboratory heating. Kawamura, K., Tannenbaum, E., Huizinga, B.J., Kaplan, I.R. Geochemical journal. (1986) [Pubmed]
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