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Science. 2000 Aug 25;289(5483):1337-40.

Primordial carbonylated iron-sulfur compounds and the synthesis of pyruvate.

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  • 1Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5251 Broad Branch Road, NW, Washington, DC 20015, USA.

Abstract

Experiments exploring the potential catalytic role of iron sulfide at 250 degrees C and elevated pressures (50, 100, and 200 megapascals) revealed a facile, pressure-enhanced synthesis of organometallic phases formed through the reaction of alkyl thiols and carbon monoxide with iron sulfide. A suite of organometallic compounds were characterized with ultraviolet-visible and Raman spectroscopy. The natural synthesis of such compounds is anticipated in present-day and ancient environments wherever reduced hydrothermal fluids pass through iron sulfide-containing crust. Here, pyruvic acid was synthesized in the presence of such organometallic phases. These compounds could have provided the prebiotic Earth with critical biochemical functionality.

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PMID:
10958777
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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