Is the origin of life related to supercritical carbon dioxide? Recently, the Institute of Oceanography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Yan Jun, and Sun Weidong team worked together for the first time in hydrothermal system to observe the eruption of supercritical carbon dioxide fluid in natural conditions. Science Bulletin published an article entitled Discovery of the super carbon dioxide in a hydrothermal system as a cover article, covering the results of my scientists’ work.
According to Yan Jun and Sun Weidong, the observed supercritical carbon dioxide contains a lot of nitrogen and unit fractions, which provides new enlightenment for the origin of life and the formation of the initial organic matter.
Science Bulletin 11th Cover Article 2020
In the 2016 deep-sea hydrothermal voyage of China’s large scientific engineering “Science” scientific research vessel, the researchers discovered the hydrothermal vent with supercritical carbon dioxide eruption in the deep-sea hydrothermal zone (1400m) using the deep-sea laser Raman spectral insiticity detection system (RiP) carried on the “Discovery” deep-sea ROV robot. In turn, the supercritical carbon dioxide fluid of the eruption state was detected directly in the deep sea in situ using the RiP probe (Figure 2), and found that the deep-sea supercritical carbon dioxide Raman spectral peak was completely consistent with the supercritical carbon dioxide obtained by the laboratory simulation in spectral parameters such as frequency shift and half-peak width. At the same time, the insitusuper-supercritical carbon dioxide Raman spectrum contains not only methane, hydrogen sulfide, sulphate and other components of the Raman characteristic peak, but also contains a large amount of nitrogen and a number of unknown components of the Raman peak, far higher than the surrounding sea water. Although it is difficult to determine the chemical sits corresponding to unknown peaks from Raman spectroscopy alone, the peak position of the Raman feature peak can reflect the information of the chemical bonds. The attribution of Raman feature peaks indicates that most of these unknown peaks are related to C-H, C-C, C-N, N-H, which proves that supercritical carbon dioxide fluids ejected from deep-sea hydrothermal regions are likely to contain large amounts of organic matter. Considering the important role of supercritical carbon dioxide in organic synthesis such as formic acid and amino acids, it is speculated that these unknown organic matter is likely to be associated with amino acid synthesis.
Deep-sea laser Raman probe (RiP) detects supercritical CO2 fluid in situ in deep-sea hydrothermal region
The origin of life on Earth and the formation of initial organic matter have been widely concerned. Biological studies have shown that super-thermal bacteria are probably the common ancestor of life on Earth, so hydrothermal systems have long been thought to be closely related to the origin of life. But nitrogen, the key element of synthetic amino acids, is missing in hydrothermal fluids, the deadliest problem that originated in the hydrothermal hypothesis. The supercritical carbon dioxide fluid found in deep-sea hydrothermal regions, which enriches nitrogen, provides an excellent response medium for the early Earth’s process from inorganic to organic. Recent experiments have shown that four amino acids, including alanine, glycine, temporinin, and arginine, can be synthesized from the H2O-CO2-N2 system with the participation of supercritical carbon dioxide and minerals. Thus, the author proposes a new model of the origin of early Life on Earth (Figure 3). The original atmosphere formed in the millions of years after the moon’s formation, when the atmosphere contained hundreds of atmospheric pressure of water vapor and carbon dioxide, as well as nitrogen. After the formation of the original ocean, when the temperature pressure conditions are greater than 31 degrees C and 7.3MPa, carbon dioxide will exist in a supercritical fluid phase state, so there is a supercritical layer of carbon dioxide on the earth’s surface. Nitrogen and mineral particles can be absorbed by dense supercritical carbon dioxide at the junction of the hydrosphere and the atmosphere. Supercritical carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen in the mineral particles of the catalyzed, formed the initial organic amino acids and other substances, thus completing the transformation from inorganic to organic, and produced the essential amino acids and other organic macromolecules.
Early Earth Initial Organic Form Model