Prebiotic Syntheses Under Shock in the Water – Formamide – Potassium Bicarbonate – Sodium Hydroxide System

Valery G. Shtyrlin, Valery A. Borissenok, Nikita Yu Serov, Vladimir G. Simakov, Vyacheslav A. Bragunets, Ivan R. Trunin, Irina A. Tereshkina, Sergey A. Koshkin, Mikhail S. Bukharov, Edward M. Gilyazetdinov, Evgeny E. Shestakov, Anna G. Sirotkina, Alexey V. Zakharov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Syntheses under shock in nitrogen bubbled samples of the water – formamide – bicarbonate – sodium hydroxide system at pH 8.63, 9.46 and 10.44 were performed in the stainless steel preservation capsules. The maximum temperature and pressure in the capsules reached 545 K and 12.5 GPa respectively. Using the LC-MS-MS analysis, the 21 synthesis products have been identified, including amines and polyamines, carboxamide, acetamide and urea derivatives, compounds containing aniline, pyrrolidine, pyrrole, imidazole, as well as alcohol groups. It was found that the Fischer-Tropsch-type syntheses with catalysis on the surface of the stainless steel of the conservation capsule associated with the adsorbed hydrogen cyanide reactions and transamidation processes play the main role in the shock syntheses. Formation reactions of all the above-mentioned compounds have been suggested. It was proposed that hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, isocyanic acid, aminonitrile, aminoacetonitrile, as well as adsorbed species H(a), CH(a), CH2(a), CHOH(a), NH2(a) and H2CNH(a) are especially important for the formation of the products. A reduction reaction of adsorbed bicarbonate with hydrogen to formaldehyde has been first postulated. In the studied system also classical reactions take place – Wöhler’s synthesis of urea and Butlerov’s synthesis of methenamine. It was suggest that material of meteorites may be an effective catalyst in the Fischer-Tropsch-type syntheses at falling of the iron-nickel meteorites in the water – formamide regions on the early Earth. It was concluded that life could have originated due to the impact of meteorites on alkaline water-formamide lakes located near volcanoes on the early Earth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalOrigins of Life and Evolution of Biospheres
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Prebiotic Syntheses Under Shock in the Water – Formamide – Potassium Bicarbonate – Sodium Hydroxide System'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this