Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Racemization

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_1330-2

Definition

Racemization is a process wherein optically active compounds (which consist of only one enantiomer) are converted into an equal mixture of enantiomers with zero optical activity (a racemic mixture). Racemization rates are dependent on the molecule and conditions such as pH and temperature. For example, aqueous racemization of free protein amino acids takes place on timescales of 103–104 years at neutral pH and 25 °C. For comparison, hydrocarbons that contain a hydrogen atom attached to a chiral carbon atom have racemization half-lives under similar conditions that are much longer.

See Also

Keywords

Carbon Atom Hydrogen Atom Similar Condition Active Compound Bioorganic Chemistry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA