Self-Assembled Structures Formed in CO2-Enriched Atmospheres: A Case-Study for Martian Biomimetic Forms

Elizabeth Escamilla-Roa, María Paz Zorzano, Javier Martin-Torres, Claro Ignacio Sainz-Díaz, Julyan H.E. Cartwright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the biomimetic precipitation processes that follow the chemical-garden reaction of brines of CaCl2 and sulfate salts with silicate in alkaline conditions under a Mars-type CO2-rich atmosphere. We characterize the precipitates with environmental scanning electron microscope micrography, micro-Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray diffractometry. Our analysis results indicate that self-assembled carbonate structures formed with calcium chloride can have vesicular and filamentary features. With magnesium sulfate as a reactant a tentative assignment with Raman spectroscopy indicates the presence of natroxalate in the precipitate. These morphologies and compounds appear through rapid sequestration of atmospheric CO2 by alkaline solutions of silica and salts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)863-879
Number of pages17
JournalAstrobiology
Volume22
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2022

Keywords

  • Carbonate minerals
  • Chemical gardens
  • COatmosphere
  • Mars
  • Natroxalate
  • Self-assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science

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