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Proceedings Paper

Application of the organic on water reactions to prebiotic chemistry
Author(s): Vera M. Kolb
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Paper Abstract

The old view that prebiotic reactions in water are hampered by the low solubility of the organic compounds in water is now being revised due to the discoveries of the reactions “on water”. These reactions occur in the heterogeneous system comprising of the organic compounds and water. Unexpectedly, such reactions are extremely efficient; they often give quantitative yields, and are accelerated in the presence of water as compared to the organic solvents. These “on water” reactions are not the same as the “in water” reactions, which occur in solution, and are thus homogenous. Examples of the “on water” reactions include Diels-Alder, Claisen, Passerini and Ugi reactions, among many others. Some of these reactions are multicomponent, but give a single product. We survey a selected number of the “on water” reactions, which have a potential prebiotic applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 October 2012
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 8521, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XV, 85210D (15 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.924849
Show Author Affiliations
Vera M. Kolb, Univ. of Wisconsin-Parkside (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8521:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XV
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Paul C. W. Davies, Editor(s)

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