Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 30, 2016
Previous Article Next Article

The efficiency of driving chemical reactions by a physical non-equilibrium is kinetically controlled

Author affiliations

Abstract

An out-of-equilibrium physical environment can drive chemical reactions into thermodynamically unfavorable regimes. Under prebiotic conditions such a coupling between physical and chemical non-equilibria may have enabled the spontaneous emergence of primitive evolutionary processes. Here, we study the coupling efficiency within a theoretical model that is inspired by recent laboratory experiments, but focuses on generic effects arising whenever reactant and product molecules have different transport coefficients in a flow-through system. In our model, the physical non-equilibrium is represented by a drift–diffusion process, which is a valid coarse-grained description for the interplay between thermophoresis and convection, as well as for many other molecular transport processes. As a simple chemical reaction, we consider a reversible dimerization process, which is coupled to the transport process by different drift velocities for monomers and dimers. Within this minimal model, the coupling efficiency between the non-equilibrium transport process and the chemical reaction can be analyzed in all parameter regimes. The analysis shows that the efficiency depends strongly on the Damköhler number, a parameter that measures the relative timescales associated with the transport and reaction kinetics. Our model and results will be useful for a better understanding of the conditions for which non-equilibrium environments can provide a significant driving force for chemical reactions in a prebiotic setting.

Graphical abstract: The efficiency of driving chemical reactions by a physical non-equilibrium is kinetically controlled

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 15 Feb 2016, accepted on 26 Apr 2016 and first published on 28 Apr 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6CP01034B
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2016,18, 20135-20143
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    The efficiency of driving chemical reactions by a physical non-equilibrium is kinetically controlled

    T. Göppel, V. V. Palyulin and U. Gerland, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2016, 18, 20135
    DOI: 10.1039/C6CP01034B

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements