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Nontarget analysis of Murchison soluble organic matter by high-field NMR spectroscopy and FTICR mass spectrometry.

Magnetic resonance in chemistry : MRC (2015-08-15)
N Hertkorn, M Harir, Ph Schmitt-Kopplin
ABSTRACT

High-field NMR spectra of Murchison meteorite methanolic extracts revealed primarily aliphatic extraterrestrial organic matter (EOM) with near statistical branching of commonly C(3-5) units separated by heteroatoms and aromatic units. The ratios of CCH, OCH and C(sp2)H units were 89 : 8 : 3, whereas carbon-based aliphatic chain termination was in the order methyl >  -COOH >  -CH(CH3)COOH. Aliphatic methine carbon was abundant, but its weak NMR signatures were primarily deduced from JRES (J-resolved) NMR spectra. Carbon NMR spectra were dominated by methylene and methyl carbon; strong apodization revealed methine carbon, of which about 20% was aromatic. Extrapolation provided 5-7% aromatic carbon present in Murchison soluble EOM. Compositional heterogeneity in Murchison methanolic extracts was visible in NMR and Fourier transform ion cyclotron (FTICR) mass spectra obtained from a few cubic millimeters of solid Murchison meteorite; increasing sample size enhanced uniformity of NMR spectra. Intrinsic chemical diversity and pH-dependent chemical shift variance contributed to the disparity of NMR spectra. FTICR mass spectra provided distinct clustering of CHO/CHOS and CHNO/CHNOS molecular series and confirmed the prevalence of aliphatic/alicyclic (73%) over single aromatic (21%) and polyaromatic (6%) molecular compositions, suggesting extensive aliphatic substitution of aromatic units as proposed by NMR. Murchison soluble EOM molecules feature a center with enhanced aromatic and heteroatom content, which provides rather diffuse and weak NMR signatures resulting from a huge overall chemical diversity. The periphery of Murchison EOM molecules comprises flexible branched aliphatic chains and aliphatic carboxylic acids. These project on narrow ranges of chemical shift, facilitating observation in one-dimensional and two-dimensional NMR spectra. The conformational entropy provided by these flexible surface moieties facilitates the solubility of EOM.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
Methanol-12C, 99.95 atom % 12C
Supelco
Methanol solution, NMR reference standard, 4% in methanol-d4 (99.8 atom % D), NMR tube size 5 mm × 8 in.
Sigma-Aldrich
Methanol solution, NMR reference standard, 4% in methanol-d4 (99.8 atom % D), NMR tube size 3 mm × 8 in.
Supelco
Methanol solution, suitable for HPLC, contains 10 % (v/v) water, 0.1 % (v/v) trifluoroacetic acid
Sigma-Aldrich
Methanol, anhydrous, 99.8%
Sigma-Aldrich
Methanol, NMR reference standard