A mixed gas of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen was discharged over 100 ml of 0.2 M NaHCO3 solution in a 5 liter discharge apparatus which simulates the primitive Earth. The formation of cyanate, which is one of the possible primitive condensing agents, was demonstrated by the detection of [Cu(Py)2] (NCO)2 that was formed by the addition of copper sulfate-pyridine reagent to the solution. In a series of experiments the partial pressures of nitrogen and carbon dioxide in the starting gas were fixed at 10 cm Hg and 20 cm Hg, respectively, whereas that of hydrogen was varied between 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 cm Hg. The discharges were continued for one week. The rate of appearance of cyanate was strongly dependent upon the partial pressure of hydrogen. The maximum rate of the production of cyanate at the initial stage of the discharge was in the case of 10 cm Hg of hydrogen, in which condition the starting gas is in a predominantly oxidized state. In this case the concentration of cyanate reached about 0.012 M after one day. Another discharge experiment was carried out with 0.2 M phosphate solution, and the production of carbamyl phosphate was demonstrated through the formation of ATP by the incubation of the discharged solution with ADP and carbamyl phosphokinase.

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