Any of a class of saturated polycyclic hydrocarbons that are found in crude oils and are derived from the sterols of ancient organisms.
- ‘But because steranes are commonly degraded by bacteria, they are of limited use.’
- ‘Some of the other archaeological samples look quite similar to bitumen derived from Cretaceous source rock, based on the distribution patterns of steranes and terpanes.’
- ‘This biomarker group is, like the steranes, characterized by numerous maturity-sensitive stereoisomers.’
- ‘The distribution of phenanthrenes, aromatic steranes, and dibenzothiophenes shows regular dependence on the maturity of organic matter.’
- ‘Contrary to expectation, the relative abundance of steranes seems to be lower than that of the hopanoids, with the variety of hopanoid structures greatly outnumbering those of the steranes.’
1950s: from steroid + -ane.