Production of nitrogen oxides by lightning and coronae discharges in simulated early earth, venus and mars environments

Research areas:
Year:
2001
Authors:
  • Delphine Nna Mvondo
  • R Navarro-Gonzalez
  • CP McKay
  • P Coll
  • F Raulin
Editor:
Raulin, F and Kobayashi, K and Brack, A and Greensberg, JM and Hei, TK
Volume:
27
Book title:
SPACE LIFE SCIENCES: LIFE IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM: PREBIOTIC CHEMISTRY, CHIRALITY AND SPACE BIOLOGY
Number:
2
Series:
ADVANCES IN SPACE RESEARCH
Pages:
217-223
Organization:
Ctr Natk Etudes Spatiales; European Space Agcy; Int Soc Study Origin Life; Univ Paris 12; Comm Space Res; European Geophys Soc; Int Astonom Union; Agena Spaz Italiana; Inst Nazl Fis Nucl; Natl Aeronaut & Space Adm
BibTex:
Abstract:
We present measurements for the production of nitrogen oxides (NO and
N2O) in CO2-N-2 mixtures that simulate different stages of the evolution
of the atmospheres of the Earth, Venus and Mars. The nitrogen fixation
rates by two different types of electrical discharges, namely lightning
and coronae, were studied over a wide range in CO2 and N-2 mixing
ratios. Nitric oxide (NO) is formed with a maximum energy yield
estimated to be similar to1.3x10(16) molecule J(-1) at 80\% CO2 and
similar to1.3x10(14) molecule J(-1) at 50\% CO2 for lightning and
coronae discharges, respectively. Nitrous oxide (N2O) is only formed by
coronae discharge with a maximum energy yield estimated to be similar
to1.2x10(13) molecule J(-1) at 50\% CO2. The pronounced difference in NO
production in lightning and coronae discharges and the lack of formation
of N2O in lightning indicate that the physics and chemistry involved in
nitrogen fixation differs substantially in these two forms of electric
energy. (C) 2001 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights
reserved.