kerogen

[ker-uh-juhn, -jen]
noun
the bituminous matter in oil shale, from which shale oil is obtained by heating and distillation.

Origin:
1905–10; < Greek kēró(s) wax + -gen

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World English Dictionary
kerogen (ˈkɛrədʒən)
 
n
the solid organic material found in some rocks, such as oil shales, that produces hydrocarbons similar to petroleum when heated
 
[C20: from Greek kēro(s) wax + -gen]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
kerogen   (kěr'ə-jən)  Pronunciation Key 
A fossilized mixture of insoluble organic material that, when heated, breaks down into petroleum and natural gas. Kerogen consists of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur and forms from compacted organic material, including algae, pollen, spores and spore coats, and insects. It is usually found in sedimentary rocks, such as shale.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The environment that transformed the kerogen into gas did not favor oil at all.
Kerogen is a pyrobitumen, and oil is formed from kerogen by heating.
The capsule will be heated and the kerogen extracted.
Kerogen within source rocks is under pressure from overlying sediments.
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