Schreibersite on the Early Earth: Scenarios for Prebiotic Phosphorylation
Phosphorus, Hadean, Meteorites, Thermodynamics, Origin of life, Prebiotic chemistry
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The mineral schreibersite, (Fe,Ni)3P, provides a reactive source of phosphorus capable of forming phosphorylated molecules. These molecules may have been an important component of prebiotic chemistry, allowing their build-up and eventual commencement of autopoiesis. Discussed here are potential geochemical routes to providing schreibersite, as a potentially important prebiotic mineral, to the Hadean Earth. Two routes are identified: delivery of phosphides by meteoritic material and the reduction of phosphates to phosphides by high-temperature, low-redox conditions. About 1–10% of all crustal phosphorus is estimated to have been in schreibersite during the Hadean, making the long-term reaction of this mineral with organic-laden water plausible for many years. Ultimately, such conditions would have been conducive to the formation of life as we know it today.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Was this content written or created while at USF?
Citation / Publisher Attribution
Geoscience Frontiers, v. 8, no. 2, p. 329-335.
Scholar Commons Citation
Pasek, Matthew A., "Schreibersite on the Early Earth: Scenarios for Prebiotic Phosphorylation" (2017). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 1287.