Space life sciences

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 469–473 | Cite as

In situ synthesis during organic analysis of lunar samples

  • K. Biemann
Session IV. Origin


In the development and application of extremely sensitive analytical techniques the need for extreme cleanliness and avoidance of contamination has been generally recognized and complied with in the organic analysis of lunar samples. Much less attention has been paid to the possibility of inadvertent synthesis of certain organic molecules from indigenous smaller organic or even inorganic constituents of the lunar material. At the part-per-billion level of detectability reactions proceeding even at very low yield can lead to detectable products. A particular area of concern should be the amino acid analysis since those substances are known to be formed by condensation of ammonia, cyanide and carbonyl compounds, all potential products of lunar material upon treatment with aqueous media.


Ammonia Organic Chemistry Geochemistry Carbonyl Cyanide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Biemann
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of ChemistryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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