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Serpentinization and the Formation of H-2 and CH4 on Celestial Bodies (Planets, Moons, Comets)
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Geological Sciences.
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Number of Authors: 5
2015 (English)In: Astrobiology, ISSN 1531-1074, E-ISSN 1557-8070, Vol. 15, no 7, 587-600 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Serpentinization involves the hydrolysis and transformation of primary ferromagnesian minerals such as olivine ((Mg,Fe)(2)SiO4) and pyroxenes ((Mg,Fe)SiO3) to produce H-2-rich fluids and a variety of secondary minerals over a wide range of environmental conditions. The continual and elevated production of H-2 is capable of reducing carbon, thus initiating an inorganic pathway to produce organic compounds. The production of H-2 and H-2-dependent CH4 in serpentinization systems has received significant interdisciplinary interest, especially with regard to the abiotic synthesis of organic compounds and the origins and maintenance of life in Earth's lithosphere and elsewhere in the Universe. Here, serpentinization with an emphasis on the formation of H-2 and CH4 are reviewed within the context of the mineralogy, temperature/pressure, and fluid/gas chemistry present in planetary environments. Whether deep in Earth's interior or in Kuiper Belt Objects in space, serpentinization is a feasible process to invoke as a means of producing astrobiologically indispensable H-2 capable of reducing carbon to organic compounds.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 15, no 7, 587-600 p.
Keyword [en]
Serpentinization, Fischer-Tropsch-type synthesis, Hydrogen formation, Methane formation, Ultramafic rocks
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology Biological Sciences Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-123359DOI: 10.1089/ast.2014.1188ISI: 000363933700006OAI: diva2:873956
Available from: 2015-11-25 Created: 2015-11-24 Last updated: 2015-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Holm, Nils G.
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