Results of an Eight-Year Extraction of Phosphorus Minerals within the Seymchan MeteoriteOPEN ACCESS 

Maheen Gull, Tian Feng and Matthew A. Pasek

Life 2022, 12(10), 1591
Published: 12 October 2022


“In-fall of extraterrestrial material including meteorites and interstellar dust particles during the late heavy bombardment are known to have brought substantial amounts of reduced oxidation-state phosphorus to the early Earth in the form of siderophilic minerals, e.g., schreibersite ((FeNi)3P). In this report, we present results on the reaction of meteoritic phosphide minerals in the Seymchan meteorite in ultrapure water for 8 years. The ions produced during schreibersite corrosion (phosphite, hypophosphate, pyrophosphate, and phosphate) are stable and persistent in aqueous solution over this timescale. These results were also compared with the short-term corrosion reactions of the meteoritic mineral schreibersite’s synthetic analog Fe3P in aqueous and non-aqueous solutions (ultrapure water and formamide). This finding suggests that the reduced-oxidation-state phosphorus (P) compounds including phosphite could be ubiquitous and stable on the early Earth over a long span of time and such compounds could be readily available on the early Earth. “