Carbon Isotope Analyses of Individual Hydrocarbon Molecules in Bituminous Coal, Oil Shale and Murchison Meteorite
To study the origin of organic matter in meteorite, terrestrial rocks which contain organic compounds similar to the ones found in carbonaceous chondrites are studied and compared with Murchison meteorite. Hydrocarbon molecules were extracted by benzene and methanol from bituminous coal and oil shale and the extracts were partitioned into aliphatic, aromatic, and polar fractions by silica gel column chromatography. Carbon isotopic ratios in each fractions were analysed by GC-C-IRMS. Molecular compound identifications were carried by GC-MS Engine. Bituminous coal and oil shale show the organic compound composition similar to that of meteorite. Oil shale has a wide range of delta(13C), -20.1%_0 - -54.4%_0 compared to bituminous coal, -25.2%_0 - -34.3%_0. Delta values of several molecular compounds in two terrestrial samples are different. They show several distinct distributions in isotopic ratios compared to those of meteorite; Murchison meteorite has a range of delta(13C) from -13%_0 to +30%_0. These results provide interpretation for the source and the formation condition of each rock, in particular alteration and migration processes of organic matter. Especially, they show an important clue whether some hydrocarbon molecules observed in meteorite are indigenous or not.
Journal of Astronomy and Space Sciences
- Pub Date:
- June 1998