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Title: A Lizardite–HCN Interaction Leading the Increasing of Molecular Complexity in an Alkaline Hydrothermal Scenario: Implications for Origin of Life Studies
Authors: Villafañe Barajas, S. A.
Ruiz Bermejo, M.
Rayo Pizarroso, P.
Gálvez Martínez, S.
Meto Marti, E.
Colín García, M.
Keywords: Hydrogen cyanide;Alkaline hydrothermal environments;Organic molecules;Serpentine;Prebiotic chemistry
Issue Date: 6-Jul-2021
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
DOI: 10.3390/life11070661
Published version:
Citation: Life 11(7): 661(2021)
Abstract: Hydrogen cyanide, HCN, is considered a fundamental molecule in chemical evolution. The named HCN polymers have been suggested as precursors of important bioorganics. Some novel researches have focused on the role of mineral surfaces in the hydrolysis and/or polymerization of cyanide species, but until now, their role has been unclear. Understanding the role of minerals in chemical evolution processes is crucial because minerals undoubtedly interacted with the organic molecules formed on the early Earth by different process. Therefore, we simulated the probable interactions between HCN and a serpentinite-hosted alkaline hydrothermal system. We studied the effect of serpentinite during the thermolysis of HCN at basic conditions (i.e., HCN 0.15 M, 50 h, 100 °C, pH > 10). The HCN-derived thermal polymer and supernatant formed after treatment were analyzed by several complementary analytical techniques. The results obtained suggest that: (I) the mineral surfaces can act as mediators in the mechanisms of organic molecule production such as the polymerization of HCN; (II) the thermal and physicochemical properties of the HCN polymer produced are affected by the presence of the mineral surface; and (III) serpentinite seems to inhibit the formation of bioorganic molecules compared with the control (without mineral).
E-ISSN: 2075-1729
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