Abstract

The ratio of odd to even-numbered n-alkanes (which comprise 10 to 15 percent by weight of most petroleums) is about 1, with maximum of 1.3. In most land plants (alkanes in waxy parts) it is 10 or more. The marine sponges and corals investigated consisted of odd-even numbered carbon ratios in alkanes of 1.0 to 1.4, averaging 1.15, suggesting a relation of marine organisms to origin of petroleum.

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