Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 16, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

Prebiotic chemistry in eutectic solutions at the water–ice matrix

Author affiliations

Abstract

A crystalline ice matrix at subzero temperatures can maintain a liquid phase where organic solutes and salts concentrate to form eutectic solutions. This concentration effect converts the confined reactant solutions in the ice matrix, sometimes making condensation and polymerisation reactions occur more favourably. These reactions occur at significantly high rates from a prebiotic chemistry standpoint, and the labile products can be protected from degradation. The experimental study of the synthesis of nitrogen heterocycles at the ice–water system showed the efficiency of this scenario and could explain the origin of nucleobases in the inner Solar System bodies, including meteorites and extra-terrestrial ices, and on the early Earth. The same conditions can also favour the condensation of monomers to form ribonucleic acid and peptides. Together with the synthesis of these monomers, the ice world (i.e., the chemical evolution in the range between the freezing point of water and the limit of stability of liquid brines, 273 to 210 K) is an under-explored experimental model in prebiotic chemistry.

Graphical abstract: Prebiotic chemistry in eutectic solutions at the water–ice matrix

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 29 Feb 2012 and first published on 01 Jun 2012


Article type: Tutorial Review
DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35060B
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012,41, 5404-5415

  •   Request permissions

    Prebiotic chemistry in eutectic solutions at the water–ice matrix

    C. Menor-Salván and M. R. Marín-Yaseli, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 5404
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35060B

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements