July 29, 2014

Mineral magic? Common mineral capable of making, breaking bonds

Reactions among minerals and organic compounds in hydrothermal environments are critical components of the Earth’s deep carbon cycle. They provide energy for the deep biosphere, and may have implications for the origins of life. However, very little is known about how minerals influence organic reactions. A team of researchers from Arizona State University have demonstrated how a common mineral acts as a catalyst for specific hydrothermal organic reactions – negating the need for toxic solvents or expensive reagents.