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The stability of amino acids at submarine hydrothermal vent temperatures


It has been postulated that amino acid stability at hydrothermal vent temperatures is controlled by a metastable thermodynamic equilibrium rather than by kinetics. Experiments reported here demonstrate that the amino acids are irreversibly destroyed by heating at 240 °C and that quasi-equilibrium calculations give misleading descriptions of the experimental observations. Equilibrium thermodynamic calculations are not applicable to organic compounds under high-temperature submarine vent conditions.

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Bada, J.L., Miller, S.L. & Zhao, M. The stability of amino acids at submarine hydrothermal vent temperatures. Origins Life Evol Biosphere 25, 111–118 (1995).

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  • Oxygen Fugacity
  • Amino Acid Concentration
  • Ethylamine
  • Norleucine
  • Heated Solution