Origin of organic matter in early solar system - VI. Catalytic synthesis of nitriles, nitrogen bases and porphyrin-like pigments
A variety of nitrogen compounds have been synthesized by a static Fischer-Tropsch type reaction from CO, D 2 and ND 3, with Ni-Fe and Al 2O 3 catalysts. In this reaction, the gas is heated to 500-700°C for about 0.5 hr, and then cycled through lower temperatures (100-400°C) for 1-14 days. Products were analyzed by mass spectrometry in conjunction with gas chromatography and other chromatographic techniques. Compounds produced include alkyl cyanides, pyrroles, porphyrin-like compounds, guanidines, hydantoin, uracil and its derivatives, thymine, adenine, guanine, xanthine, melamine, as well as alkanes, alkenes and aromatic hydrocarbons. Such reactions may have been involved in the production of interstellar molecules, organic compounds in meteorites, and prebiotic organic matter on planets.