The synthesis of some purines and pyrimidines by a Fischer-Tropsch-like process under possible primitive earth conditions



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A Fischer-Tropsch-like process has been employed to synthesize some biologically significant purine and pyrimidine bases, under the conditions which was believed possibly existing in the early solar nebula. The reaction conditions were intended to simulate conditions in the solar nebula; brief thermal spikes superimposed on a general downward trend. Carbon monoxide, hydrogen, and ammonia (1:2:0.4 mole ratio) were the reactants. Iron-nickel alloy powder, alumina and silica gel were used as catalysts. In a typical run, adenine, guanine, cytosine, guanylurea, melamine, urea, biuret and cyanuric acid were synthesized in.a yield 3.828%. The presence of these compounds were positively identified by paper chromatography, ultraviolet and infrared spectrophotometry with comparison to the authentic standards. The agreement between the synthetic products in this work and the nitrogen compounds identified in the meteorites shows that the nitrogen compounds in meteorites probably formed by a Fischer-Tropsch-like process under the conditions which existed in the early solar nebula.