Study of methodology for petroporphyrin group isolations from shale and petroleum source materials

D. H. Freeman, J. S. Flynn, Katherine Haines Freeman, T. A. Lango, C. A. Hominay-Preyer, T. C. Hoering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The process of locating new fossil energy sources is aided by team efforts of geologists and chemists. A limited number of indicator compounds, biological in origin, are used to help point the search activities toward a likely source, or away from an unlikely one. These compounds, known as molecular fossils, must be isolated from complex mixtures consisting of literally millions of compounds. Interpretation of chemical evidence by the geologist depends upon a knowledge of the chemical pathway from biological precursor to the end product forms that are the result of geological stress. The set of chemical reactions and products taking place in geological time, a kind of chemical geneology, is needed to understand the relationships between compounds formed in sequences that produce a wide variety of often closely related molecular structures. This information is obtained from definitive isolation of the indicator compounds. Some of these isolations are characteristically troublesome and, therefore, challenging to separations science. This proposal seeks to evaluate new sorptive materials and better uses of methodological principals for solving difficult separation problems. New zeolitic sorbents, including silicalite and pillared layer clays are to be studied in order to understand and to exploit their potential ultraselectivity. The logic of multistage separations, though widely unused, will be investigated to help combine theoretical and experimental approaches to the efficient achievement of ultraselective separations. The foregoing efforts are focussed upon two groups of indicator compounds, the monomethyl paraffins and the petroporphyrins. These case studies are designed to challenge the premises of this proposal in areas of geochemical significance and well established separation difficulty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636
Number of pages1
JournalAmerican Chemical Society, Division of Petroleum Chemistry, Preprints
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fuel Technology


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