Distribution of aliphatic amines in CO, CV, and CK carbonaceous chondrites and relation to mineralogy and processing history

Aponte, J. C., Abreu, N. M., Glavin, D. P., Dworkin, J. P. and Elsila, J. E.

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12959


“The analysis of water-soluble organic compounds in meteorites provides valuable insights into the prebiotic synthesis of organic matter and the processes that occurred during the formation of the solar system. We investigated the concentration of aliphatic monoamines present in hot acid water extracts of the unaltered Antarctic carbonaceous chondrites, Dominion Range (DOM) 08006 (CO3) and Miller Range (MIL) 05013 (CO3), and the thermally altered meteorites, Allende (CV3), LAP 02206 (CV3), GRA 06101 (CV3), Allan Hills (ALH) 85002 (CK4), and EET 92002 (CK5). We have also reviewed and assessed the petrologic characteristics of the meteorites studied here to evaluate the effects of asteroidal processing on the abundance and molecular distributions of monoamines. The CO3, CV3, CK4, and CK5 meteorites studied here contain total concentrations of amines ranging from 1.2 to 4.0 nmol g−1 of meteorite; these amounts are 1–3 orders of magnitude below those observed in carbonaceous chondrites from the CI, CM, and CR groups. The low-amine abundances for CV and CK chondrites may be related to their extensive degree of thermal metamorphism and/or to their low original amine content. Although the CO3 meteorites, DOM 08006 and MIL 05013, do not show signs of thermal and aqueous alteration, their monoamine contents are comparable to those observed in moderately/extensively thermally altered CV3, CK4, and CK5 carbonaceous chondrites. The low content of monoamines in pristine CO carbonaceous chondrites suggests that the initial amounts, and not asteroidal processes, play a dominant role in the content of monoamines in carbonaceous chondrites. The primary monoamines, methylamine, ethylamine, and n-propylamine constitute the most abundant amines in the CO3, CV3, CK4, and CK5 meteorites studied here. Contrary to the predominance of n-ω-amino acid isomers in CO3 and thermally altered meteorites, there appears to be no preference for the larger n-amines.”