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Evidence for the rapid incorporation of hopanoids into kerogen

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Farrimond, Dr Gordon Love, Diane Watson


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Hopanoids bound into the insoluble organic matter (kerogen) of Recent sediments from a freshwater lake (Priest Pot) and an anoxic sulphidic fjord (Framvaren) were released by hydropyrolysis and examined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Bound hopanoids are present in high concentration (190-1400 μg/g TOC) and represent 22 to 86% of the total analysable hopanoids (i.e., bound and solvent-soluble), this proportion increasing with depth in Framvaren Fjord. The hopanes generated by hydropyrolysis contain higher amounts of the C35, C32, and C30 homologues, reflecting the carbon number distribution of the bound hopanoids and indicating that both biohopanoids (C30 and C35) and their diagenetic products (dominated by C32) are incorporated into the kerogen on a timescale of only 0 to 350 years. Sequential (multiple temperature) hydropyrolysis experiments gave an indication of the relative strengths of bonds being cleaved in association with hopane generation: The hopanoids of a sediment from Priest Pot are almost entirely bound by strong covalent bonds, interpreted to be mainly ether linkages, whilst a Framvaren sediment contains hopanoids that are bound by a mixture of weak di-/polysulphide linkages and stronger ether bonds. Labelling with deuterium indicated that the strong covalent linkages dominate, even for the Framvaren sediment. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Farrimond P, Love GD, Bishop AN, Innes HE, Watson DF, Snape CE

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

Year: 2003

Volume: 67

Issue: 7

Pages: 1383-1394

Print publication date: 01/04/2003

ISSN (print): 0016-7037

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9533

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/S0016-7037(02)01287-5


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