[ ker-uh-juh n, -jen ]
/ ˈkɛr ə dʒən, -ˌdʒɛn /


the bituminous matter in oil shale, from which shale oil is obtained by heating and distillation.

Origin of kerogen

1905–10; < Greek kēró(s) wax + -gen Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for kerogen


/ (ˈkɛrədʒən) /


the solid organic material found in some rocks, such as oil shales, that produces hydrocarbons similar to petroleum when heated

Word Origin for kerogen

C20: from Greek kēro (s) wax + -gen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for kerogen


[ kĕrə-jən ]

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.
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