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Open Access item Characterization of high molecular weight biomarkers in crude oils

Authors:Hsieh, M.
Philp, R. Paul
Río Andrade, José Carlos del
Keywords:Biomarkers, High molecular weight biomarkers, Waxes, HTGC, GC-MS
Issue Date:2000
Citation:Organic Geochemistry 31: 1581-1588 (2000)
Abstract:High-temperature gas chromatography (HTGC) has enhanced our ability to characterize hydrocarbons extending to C120 in crude oils. As a result, hydrocarbons in waxes (> C20) have been observed to vary significantly between crude oils, even those presumed to originate from the same source. Prior to this development, microcrystalline waxes containing hydrocarbons above C40 were not characterized on a molecular level due to the analytical limitations of conventional gas chromatography. Routine screenings of high pour-point crude oils by high-temperature gas chromatography has revealed that high molecular weight hydrocarbons (> C40) are very common in most oils and may represent 2% of the crude oil. Precise structures, origins, and significance of these high molecular weight compounds remain elusive. As a preliminary step to expand our knowledge of these compounds their general molecular structures and formulas have been investigated in this study. Initial results suggest that the major high molecular weight compounds include a homologous series of n-alkanes, methylbranched alkanes, alkylcyclopentanes, alkylcyclohexanes, alkylbenzenes and alkylcycloalkanes.
Description:aSchool of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA bInstituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia (CSIS), Ap. Co. 1052, 41080, Sevilla, Spain
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