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Production of nitrogen oxides by lightning and coronae discharges in simulated early Earth, Venus and Mars environments

AuthorsNna Mvondo, Delphine ; Navarro-González, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P.; Coll, Patrice; Raulin, François
KeywordsNitrogen oxides production
Electrical discharges
Coronae discharges
Nitrogen fixation rates
Maximum energy yield
Primitive atmospheres
Issue Date10-Jul-2001
CitationAdvances in Space Research 27(2): 217-223 (2001)
AbstractWe present measurements for the production of nitrogen oxides (NO and N2O) in CO2-N2 mixtures that simulate different stages of the evolution of the atmospheres of the Earth, Venus and Mars. The nitrogen fixation rates by two different types of electrical discharges, namely lightning and coronae, were studied over a wide range in CO2 and N2 mixing ratios. Nitric oxide (NO) is formed with a maximum energy yield estimated to be ~1.3×10^16 molecule/J at 80% CO2 and ~1.3×10^14 molecule/J at 50% CO2 for lightning and coronae discharges, respectively. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is only formed by coronae discharge with a maximum energy yield estimated to be ~1.2×10^13 molecule/J at 50% CO2. The pronounced difference in NO production in lightning and coronae discharges and the lack of formation of N2O in lightning indicate that the physics and chemistry involved in nitrogen fixation differs substantially in these two forms of electric energy.
Description7 pages, 1 figure.
The original publication is available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/02731177
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0273-1177(01)00050-3
Appears in Collections:(CAB) Comunicaciones congresos
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