Formation of organic matter in the primeval atmosphere

Numerous experiments have been performed to imitate the formation of organic matter in the primeval atmosphere on earth 4 billion years ago (Morowitz, 1968). Energy from various sources were sent through a gas mixture of carbon dioxide, ammonia, and methane. There are obviously many pathways to utilize the energy sent through simple gas mixtures, but mainly those forming compounds with rather large free energies (amino acids and RNA-like molecules with high exergy storage, decomposed when the compounds are oxidized again to carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane) will form an appreciable part of the mixture (according to Morowitz, 1968).

Table 6.4 Yields of kJ and ATP's per mole of electrons, corresponding to 0.25 moles of CH2O

oxidized (carbohydrates)1

Table 6.4 Yields of kJ and ATP's per mole of electrons, corresponding to 0.25 moles of CH2O

oxidized (carbohydrates)1

Reaction

kJ/mole e

ATP's/mole e

CH2O + O2 = CO2 + H2O

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