Title

Schreibersite on the Early Earth: Scenarios for Prebiotic Phosphorylation

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2017

Keywords

Phosphorus, Hadean, Meteorites, Thermodynamics, Origin of life, Prebiotic chemistry

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gsf.2016.06.008

Abstract

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.

Rights Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Geoscience Frontiers, v. 8, no. 2, p. 329-335.

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