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Origins of life and evolution of the biosphere : the journal of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life

Potentially prebiotic syntheses of condensed phosphates.


PMID 11536744

Abstract

In view of the importance of a prebiotic source of high energy phosphates, we have investigated a number of potentially prebiotic processes to produce condensed phosphates from orthophosphate and cyclic trimetaphosphate from tripolyphosphate. The reagents investigated include polymerizing nitriles, acid anhydrides, lactones, hexamethylene tetramine and carbon suboxide. A number of these processes give substantial yields of pyrophosphate from orthophosphate and trimetaphosphate from tripolyphosphate. Although these reactions may have been applicable in local areas, they are not sufficiently robust to have been of importance in the prebiotic open ocean.