Hydrocarbons of Biological Origin from a One-Billion-Year-Old Sediment

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  17 Jul 1964:
Vol. 145, Issue 3629, pp. 263-264
DOI: 10.1126/science.145.3629.263


The isoprenoid hydrocarbons, phytane (C20H42) and pristane (C19H40), are present in the oil seeping from the Precambrian Nonesuch formation at the White Pine Mine, Michigan. Gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry provide the isolation and identification procedures.