Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Did a Complex Carbon Cycle Operate in the Inner Solar System?

Version 1 : Received: 18 July 2020 / Approved: 19 July 2020 / Online: 19 July 2020 (20:34:27 CEST)

How to cite: Nuth, J.A.; Ferguson, F.; Hill, H.; Johnson, N. Did a Complex Carbon Cycle Operate in the Inner Solar System?. Preprints 2020, 2020070436 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0436.v1). Nuth, J.A.; Ferguson, F.; Hill, H.; Johnson, N. Did a Complex Carbon Cycle Operate in the Inner Solar System?. Preprints 2020, 2020070436 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202007.0436.v1).

Abstract

Solids in the interstellar medium consist of an intimate mixture of silicate and carbonaceous grains. Because 99% of silicates in meteorites were reprocessed at high temperatures in the inner regions of the Solar Nebula, we propose that similar levels of heating of carbonaceous materials in the oxygen-rich Solar Nebula would have converted nearly all carbon in dust and grain coatings to CO. We discuss catalytic experiments on a variety of grain surfaces that not only produce gas-phase species such as CH4, C2H6, C6H6, C6H5OH or CH3CN, but also produce carbonaceous solids and fibers that would be much more readily incorporated into growing planetesimals. CO and other more volatile products of these surface mediated reactions were likely transported outwards along with chondrule fragments and small Calcium Aluminum Inclusions (CAIs) to enhance the organic content in the outer regions of the nebula where comets formed. Carbonaceous fibers formed on the surfaces of refractory oxides may have significantly improved the aggregation efficiency of chondrules and CAIs. Carbonaceous fibers incorporated into chondritic parent bodies might have served as the carbon source for the generation of more complex organic species during thermal or hydrous metamorphic processes on the evolving asteroid.

Subject Areas

Carbon depletion; Solar Nebula; Surface Mediated Reactions; Planetesimal Accretion

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