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Orig Life Evol Biosph. 1996 Apr;26(2):173-94.

Possible role of volcanic ash-gas clouds in the Earth's prebiotic chemistry.

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  • 1Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, D.F.


Volcanic ash-gas clouds represent versatile local atmospheric environments appropriate for abiotic synthesis of rather complex organic molecules due to the simultaneous presence of various gaseous reagents, catalytically active inorganic particles, electric discharges, pressure and temperature gradients. They are relatively readily attainable for the scientists, contrary to objects or events of space origin (interstellar and planetary dust, meteoritic/cometary impacts, etc.), providing excellent opportunities for in situ studies and grounded simulating experiments. This paper reviews the available data on this environment, its most important chemical and physical parameters. Based on this analysis, it is suggested in brief experimental conditions for the simulation.

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