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The concentration and isotopic composition of hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen in carbonaceous meteorites

Robert, Francois and Epstein, Samuel (1982) The concentration and isotopic composition of hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen in carbonaceous meteorites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 46 (1). pp. 81-95. ISSN 0016-7037. doi:10.1016/0016-7037(82)90293-9.

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Concentrations and isotopic compositions were determined for H_2, N_2 and C extracted by stepwise pyrolysis from powdered meteorites, from residues of meteorites partially dissolved with aqueous HF, and from residues of meteorites reacted with HF-HCl solutions. The meteorites treated were the carbonaceous chondrites, Orgueil, Murray, Murchison, Renazzo and Cold Bokkeveld. Data determined for whole rock samples are in approximate agreement with previously published data. Acidification of the meteorites removed the inorganic sources of H_2, so that H_2 in the HF-HCl acid residues came primarily from insoluble organic matter, which makes up 70–80% fraction of the total carbon in carbonaceous meteorites. The δD in the organic matter differs markedly from previously determined values in organic matter in meteorites. The δD values of organic matter from acid residues of C1 and C2 carbonaceous chondrites range from +650 to + 1150%. The acid residues of the Renazzo meteorite, whose total H_2 has a δD of +930‰, gave a δD value of +2500‰. Oxidation of the HF-HCl residue with H_2O_2 solution removes the high δD and the low δ^(15)N components. The δ^(13)C values range between −10 and −21 and δ^(15)N values range between +40 and −11. The δ^(15)N of Renazzo is unusual; its values range between +150 and −190. There is good correlation between δD and the concentration of H_2 in the acid residues, but no correlation exists between δD, δ^(13)C and δ^(15)N in them. A simple model is proposed to explain the high δD values, and the relationships between δD values and the concentration of H_2. This model depends on the irradiation of gaseous molecules facilitating reaction between ionic molecules, and indicates that an increase in the rate of polymerization and accumulation of organic matter on grains would produce an increase in the deuterium concentration in organic matter.

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Additional Information:© 1982 Pergamon Press Ltd. Received May 1, 1981; accepted in revised form September 15, 1981. Interest in this problem was stimulated by discussions with Dr. Paul Pellas. Drs. Peter Goldreich, Peter G. Wannier, Richard H. Becker, James R. O'Neil, Michael J. DeNiro, and Hugh P. Taylor provided helpful discussions. One of us (F.R.) received partial support from the French Atomic Energy Commission. We wish to thank Mr. E. Roth of the Commission for his effort to obtain this support which made the trip (of F.R.) to the United States possible. Financial support by NASA grant number NGL- 05-002-190 is gratefully acknowledged.
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French Atomic Energy CommissionUNSPECIFIED
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Caltech Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences3609
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Official Citation:Francois Robert, Samuel Epstein, The concentration and isotopic composition of hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen in carbonaceous meteorites, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 46, Issue 1, January 1982, Pages 81-95, ISSN 0016-7037, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:42420
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:13 Nov 2013 18:44
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:22

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