12. RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

Scientists Unearth Primordial Photoredox Catalyst

Scientists Unearth Primordial Photoredox Catalyst
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

Scientists Unearth Primordial Photoredox Catalyst  SciTechDaily

Scientists Unearth Primordial Photoredox Catalyst

Nitrogen-doped graphite catalyzes reactions to give early biomolecules.

The sun, pivotal in powering the first biochemical molecules on Earth, facilitated crucial reactions along with catalysts that sped up chemical processes. A group of researchers has recently demonstrated that a substance derived from the interaction of ammonia and methane plasma has the potential to harness light energy to facilitate amine-to-imine transformations.

Introduction

This mechanism could have been a significant contributor to the formation of the earliest biomolecules. The findings were recently published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.

Background

Between three and four billion years ago, on primordial Earth, the first biomolecules were being formed prior to an explosion of life. These early chemical reactions, however, required catalysts. Xinchen Wang and a team of researchers from Fuzhou University in China have discovered that the primordial atmosphere itself could have served as a source for these catalysts.

Experimental Procedure

Using methane and ammonia gases, which were most likely present in the hot gas mixture shrouding the world in the Archean age, the team used chemical vapor deposition to produce nitrogenous carbon compounds as possible catalysts. They found that, in a reaction chamber, molecules condensed out of an ammonia and methane plasma onto a surface, quickly growing to form a solid nitrogenous carbon polymer similar to nitrogen-doped graphite.

Results and Discussion

As the team observed, the irregularly incorporated nitrogen atoms gave this polymer catalytically active sites and an electron structure that enabled it to be excited by light. The researchers then turned to proving the extent to which the substance could reduce or oxidize other substances under the effect of light.

Implications and Significance

One of the most significant reactions on early Earth may have been imine formation. Imines, also referred to as Schiff bases, are a dehydrogenated form of amines, compounds composed of carbon, nitrogen, and hydrogen. Many chemists assume that, on primordial Earth, imines may have served in the formation of the first hereditary molecules of ribonucleic acid (RNA). Wang and his team could show that their plasma-generated catalyst can convert amines to imines using nothing other than sunlight.

The team says that carbon nitride-based photocatalysts, such as the plasma-generated substance, could have lasted for millions of years and produced important chemical intermediates. In addition, they could also have served as a source of carbon- and nitrogen-containing compounds. By demonstrating that it is possible to produce such a catalyst using only the gases and conditions present in the atmosphere of early Earth, the study sheds new light on the possible evolutionary path taken by biomolecules.

Conclusion

The study highlights the potential role of nitrogen-doped graphite as a catalyst for early biomolecule formation. This research aligns with several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure). The findings contribute to our understanding of the origins of life on Earth and provide insights into the development of sustainable catalytic processes.

References

Reference: “Plasma-Enhanced Chemical-Vapor-Deposition Synthesis of Photoredox-Active Nitrogen-Doped Carbon from NH3 and CH4 Gases” by Yan Wang, Yuanxing Fang, Yankun Wang, Haisu Wu, Masakazu Anpo, Jimmy C. Yu and Xinchen Wang, 22 June 2023, Angewandte Chemie International Edition.
DOI: 10.1002/anie.202307236

Funding

The study was funded by the National Key Technologies R&D Program of China, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the 111 Project.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

  1. SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

    • Target 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
    • Indicator 7.2.1: Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption
  2. SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

    • Target 9.5: Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending
    • Indicator 9.5.1: Research and development expenditure as a proportion of GDP
  3. SDG 13: Climate Action

    • Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning
    • Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have communicated the strengthening of institutional, systemic, and individual capacity-building to implement adaptation, mitigation, and technology transfer

Analysis

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

The issues highlighted in the article are connected to SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), and SDG 13 (Climate Action).

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

Based on the article’s content, the specific targets that can be identified are:

– Target 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

– Target 9.5: Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending.

– Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

Yes, there are indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets:

– Indicator 7.2.1: Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption.

– Indicator 9.5.1: Research and development expenditure as a proportion of GDP.

– Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have communicated the strengthening of institutional, systemic, and individual capacity-building to implement adaptation, mitigation, and technology transfer.

Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy Target 7.2: Increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix Indicator 7.2.1: Renewable energy share in the total final energy consumption
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Target 9.5: Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending Indicator 9.5.1: Research and development expenditure as a proportion of GDP
SDG 13: Climate Action Target 13.2: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning Indicator 13.2.1: Number of countries that have communicated the strengthening of institutional, systemic, and individual capacity-building to implement adaptation, mitigation, and technology transfer

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Source: scitechdaily.com

 

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