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The effects of ferrous and other ions on the abiotic formation of biomolecules using aqueous aerosols and spark discharges

AuthorsRuiz Bermejo, Marta ; Menor-Salván, César ; Osuna-Esteban, Susana ; Veintemillas-Verdaguer, S.
KeywordsAerosol chemistry
Ancient sea
Ferrous ion
Prebiotic chemistry
Prebiotic environment
Issue Date27-Sep-2007
CitationOrigins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 37(6): 507-521 (2007)
AbstractIt has been postulated that the oceans on early Earth had a salinity of 1.5 to 2 times the modern value and a pH between 4 and 10. Moreover, the presence of the banded iron formations shows that Fe(+2) was present in significant concentrations in the primitive oceans. Assuming the hypotheses above, in this work we explore the effects of Fe(+2) and other ions in the generation of biomolecules in prebiotic simulation experiments using spark discharges and aqueous aerosols. These aerosols have been prepared using different sources of Fe(+2), such as FeS, FeCl(2) and FeCO(3), and other salts (alkaline and alkaline earth chlorides and sodium bicarbonate at pH = 5.8). In all these experiments, we observed the formation of some amino acids, carboxylic acids and heterocycles, involved in biological processes. An interesting consequence of the presence of soluble Fe(+2) was the formation of Prussian Blue, Fe(4)[Fe(CN)(6)](3), which has been suggested as a possible reservoir of HCN in the initial prebiotic conditions on the Earth.
Description15 pages, 4 figures, 3 tables.-- PMID: 17899439 [PubMed].-- ISI Article Identifier: 000251368300004.-- Printed version published Dec 2007.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11084-007-9107-0
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