Azaarenes in Recent Marine Sediments

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Science  21 Jan 1977:
Vol. 195, Issue 4275, pp. 283-285
DOI: 10.1126/science.195.4275.283-a


Chemical fractionation and mass spectral probe distillation reveal the presence in recent marine sediments of a complex assemblage of nitrogen-containing aromatic compounds. These azaarenes range from three- to eight-membered rings, with homologs containing up to eight alkyl carbons. In their composition, and presumably in their origin in natural fires, they resemble the aromatic hydrocarbons found in the same sediments. The analytical, geochemical, and environmental implications of these findings are discussed.