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Nitrogen Fixation By Corona Discharge On The Early Precambrian Earth

AuthorsNna Mvondo, Delphine ; Navarro-González, Rafael; Raulin, François; Coll, Patrice
KeywordsCorona discharge
Energy yield
Experimental simulation
Nitric oxide
Nitrogen fixation
Nitrous oxide
Primitive Earth
Issue Date18-Oct-2005
CitationOrigins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres 35(5): 401-409 (2005)
AbstractWe report the first experimental study of nitrogen fixation by corona discharge on the anoxic primitive Earth. The energy yields of nitric oxide (NO) and nitrous oxide (N2O) were experimentally determined over a wide range of CO2-N2 mixtures simulating the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere during the Hadean and Archean eras (from 4.5 ba to 2.5 ba). NO, the principal form of fixed nitrogen in lightning and coronal discharge in early Earth, is produced ten times less efficiently in the latter type of electrical discharge with an estimated maximum annual production rate of the order of 10^10 g/yr. For N2O the maximum production rate was estimated to be ∼109 g/yr. These low rates of syntheses indicate that corona discharges as point discharges on the clouds and ground did not play a significant role in the overall pool of reactive nitrogen needed for the emergence and sustainability of life.
Description9 pages, 3 figures.
The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11084-005-1972-9
Appears in Collections:(CAB) Artículos
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