Study on the chemical evolution of low molecular weight compounds in a highly oxidized atmosphere using electric discharges
The molecular basis for the chemical evolution of low molecular compounds was studied using electric discharges on a higly oxidized atmosphere comprised of CO2, N2 and H2O. In the gas phase, O2 and CO were formed by the decomposition of CO2 and their yields were enhanced by the addition of N2 to the gas mixture. It was demonstrated that H2O suppressed the reduction of CO2 while H2O also had a role in producing organic compounds such as formic acid and formaldehyde. Infrared analysis of the water soluble products and the inner surface of the reaction vessel indicated the production of compounds more complex than formic acid and formaldehyde. These compounds contained the chemical bonds which were identified to be OH, CO, CN and/or CC.