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Chloromethane release from carbonaceous meteorite affords new insight into Mars lander findings

MPG-Autoren
http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons101055

Keppler,  Frank
Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons100963

Greule,  Markus
Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons101167

Ott,  Ulrich
Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Keppler, F., Harper, D. B., Greule, M., Ott, U., Sattler, T., Schöler, H. F., et al. (2014). Chloromethane release from carbonaceous meteorite affords new insight into Mars lander findings. Scientific Reports, 4: 7010. doi:10.1038/srep07010.


Zitierlink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-B16E-0
Zusammenfassung
Controversy continues as to whether chloromethane (CH3Cl) detected during pyrolysis of Martian soils by the Viking and Curiosity Mars landers is indicative of organic matter indigenous to Mars. Here we demonstrate CH3Cl release (up to 8 mu g/g) during low temperature (150-400 degrees C) pyrolysis of the carbonaceous chondrite Murchison with chloride or perchlorate as chlorine source and confirm unequivocally by stable isotope analysis the extraterrestrial origin of the methyl group (delta H-2 + 800 to + 1100%, delta C-13-19.2 to + 10%,). In the terrestrial environment CH3Cl released during pyrolysis of organic matter derives from the methoxyl pool. The methoxyl pool in Murchison is consistent both in magnitude (0.044%) and isotope signature (delta H-2 + 1054 +/- 626%, delta C-13 + 43.2 +/- 38.8%,) with that of the CH3Cl released on pyrolysis. Thus CH3Cl emissions recorded by Mars lander experiments may be attributed to methoxyl groups in undegraded organic matter in meteoritic debris reaching the Martian surface being converted to CH3Cl with perchlorate or chloride in Martian soil. However we cannot discount emissions arising additionally from organic matter of indigenous origin. The stable isotope signatures of CH3Cl detected on Mars could potentially be utilized to determine its origin by distinguishing between terrestrial contamination, meteoritic infall and indigenous Martian sources.