The Influence of CO2 Admixtures on the Product Composition in a Nitrogen-Methane Atmospheric Glow Discharge Used as a Prebiotic Atmosphere Mimic

Mazankova, V.; Torokova, L.; Krcma, F.; Mason, N. J. and Matejcik, S. (2016). The Influence of CO2 Admixtures on the Product Composition in a Nitrogen-Methane Atmospheric Glow Discharge Used as a Prebiotic Atmosphere Mimic. Origins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres, 46(4) pp. 499–506.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s1108

Abstract

This work extends our previous experimental studies of the chemistry of Titan’s atmosphere by atmospheric glow discharge. The Titan’s atmosphere seems to be similarly to early Earth atmospheric composition. The exploration of Titan atmosphere was initiated by the exciting results of the Cassini-Huygens mission and obtained results increased the interest about prebiotic atmospheres. Present work is devoted to the role of CO2 in the prebiotic atmosphere chemistry. Most of the laboratory studies of such atmosphere were focused on the chemistry of N2 + CH4 mixtures. The present work is devoted to the study of the oxygenated volatile species in prebiotic atmosphere, specifically CO2 reactivity. CO2 was introduced to the standard N2 + CH4 mixture at different mixing ratio up to 5 % CH4 and 3 % CO2. The reaction products were characterized by FTIR spectroscopy. This work shows that CO2 modifies the composition of the gas phase with the detection of oxygenated compounds: CO and others oxides. There is a strong influence of CO2 on increasing concentration other products as cyanide (HCN) and ammonia (NH3).

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