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Origins of Oil, a Correction and Further Comment on the Brunnock1 Even C-Number Predominance in Certain Higher Alkanes of African Crudes, and on the Biogenesis of Nonacosane

Naturevolume 214page263 (1967) | Download Citation



IT has been pointed out to me (J. V. Brunnock, personal communication) that the simple arithmetical explanation of even C-number predominance recently advanced2 fails if, in addition to the categories of chances of recombination previously considered, namely even–even, odd–odd, even–odd, that of odd–even is added. The probability of getting even and odd C-numbered products is then the same, and I concur. In fact, if it is assumed that four chains break up to give four even and four odd radicals, there are thirty-two chances each for the formation of even and odd chains by random coupling. Yet there can be little doubt that the predominant even C-numbered n-alkanes are derived by break-up of fatty acids and recombination of the fragments.

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  1. 1

    Brunnock, J. V., Nature, 212, 385 (1966).

  2. 2

    Robinson, R., Nature, 212, 1291 (1966).

  3. 3

    Purdy, S. J., and Truter, E. V., Proc. Roy. Soc., B, 158, 536, 544 (1963).

  4. 4

    Kolattukudy, P. F., Biochemistry, 5, 2265 (1966).

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  1. Shell Centre, London, S.E.1.



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