Samples of sedimentary organic matter from several geologic environments and ages which are enriched in uranium (56 ppm to 12%) have been characterized. The three analytical techniqyes used to study the samples were Rock-Eval pyrolysis, pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, and solid-state C-13 nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. In samples with low uranium content, the pyrolysis-gas chromatography products contain oxygenated functional groups (as hydroxyl) and molecules with both aliphatic and aromatic carbon atoms. These samples with low uranium content give measurable Rock-Eval hydrocarbon and organic-CO2 yields, and C-13 NMR values of > 30% aliphatic carbon. In contrast, uranium-rich samples have few hydrocarbon pyrolysis products, increased Rock-Eval organic-CO2 contents and > 70% aromatic carbon contents from C-13 NMR. The increase in aromaticity and decrease in hydrocarbon pyrolysis yield are related to the amount of uranium and the age of the uranium minerals, which correspond to the degree of radiation damage. The three analytical techniques give complementary results. Increase in Rock-Eval organic-CO2 yield correlates with uranium content for samples from the Grants uranium region. Calculations show that the amount of organic-CO2 corresponds to the quantity of uranium chemically reduced by the organic matter for the Grants uranium region samples. ?? 1986.
Additional publication details
Organic geochemical analysis of sedimentary organic matter associated with uranium