Complex mixture of compounds with large molecules containing mainly hydrogen and carbon but also oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur. Kerogen is a precursor of petroleum and the organic component of oil shales. It is waxy and insoluble in water; upon heating, it breaks down into recoverable gaseous and liquid substances resembling petroleum. It consists of compacted organic material, such as algae and other low plant forms, pollen, spores and spore coats, and insects.
Variants of KEROGEN
kerogen or kerogen shales or kerogenites
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on kerogen, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up kerogen? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.