Refractory Organic Polymer
In geochemistry, a refractory organic polymer refers to an often poorly structurally defined polymer formed through chemical transformation, for example, during diagenesis. Biological materials, such as the residues of dead organisms or the waste products of living organisms, may accumulate in sediments and form an amorphous “polymer” which may shed some easily hydrolyzed moieties and volatile elements during aging. Some examples of refractory biological organic polymers include kerogen and the humic and fulvic acids. As aging continues, less and less of the polymer is easily hydrolyzed, and the material is said to be refractory. Such polymers may also be derived from abiotically synthesized organic materials, for example, the insoluble organic material found in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites.