A new quantitative model is presented which simulates the maturation of lignin-derived sedimentary organic matter under geologic conditions. In this model, compositionally specific reactants evolve to specific intermediate and mobile products through balanced, nth order processes, by way of a network of sequential and parallel reactions. The chemical kinetic approach is based primarily on published observed structural transformations of naturally matured, lignin-derived, sedimentary organic matter. Assuming that Upper Cretaceous Williams Fork coal in the Piceance Basin is primarily lignin-derived, the model is calibrated for the Multi-Well Experiment(MWX) Site in this basin. This kind of approach may be applied to other selectively preserved chemical components of sedimentary organic matter. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.