Activated Acetic Acid by Carbon Fixation on (Fe,Ni)S Under Primordial Conditions

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Science  11 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5310, pp. 245-247
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5310.245

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In experiments modeling the reactions of the reductive acetyl–coenzyme A pathway at hydrothermal temperatures, it was found that an aqueous slurry of coprecipitated NiS and FeS converted CO and CH3SH into the activated thioester CH3-CO-SCH3, which hydrolyzed to acetic acid. In the presence of aniline, acetanilide was formed. When NiS-FeS was modified with catalytic amounts of selenium, acetic acid and CH3SH were formed from CO and H2S alone. The reaction can be considered as the primordial initiation reaction for a chemoautotrophic origin of life.

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