Genesis of Hydrocarbons of Low Molecular Weight in Organic-Rich Aquatic Systems

Science  30 Aug 1963:
Vol. 141, Issue 3583, pp. 806-807
DOI: 10.1126/science.141.3583.806


Mild heat treatment of water-wet marine muds resulted in the genesis of three aromatic hydrocarbons characteristic of crude oils, but which are seldom found in significant quantities in recent sediments. Whereas part of the toluene and xylenes may have stemmed from carotenoid pigments, the source of the benzene as well as the larger amount of the toluene and xylene is as yet unknown.