Paraffinic Hydrocarbons in Pasture Plants

Science  19 Feb 1965:
Vol. 147, Issue 3660, pp. 870-873
DOI: 10.1126/science.147.3660.870


The gas chromatographicmass spectrometric technique recently developed by Ryhage has been applied to the analysis of paraffins extracted from pasture plants, specifically, whole plant and leaves of spotted bur clover (Medicago arabica). Normal alkanes from C18 to C35 have been found. The C29, C31, and C33 normal saturated hydrocarbons predominate and n-C31 is the major component. In the range from C24 to C34 the ratio of alkanes with an even number of carbon atoms to those with an odd number is approximately 8 for the whole plant and 5 for the leaves. The distribution of paraffins is similar to that reported for cattle manure and also resembles that of some soils and sediments.