Project Title

Metal Phosphite Reactivity by Phosphonylation with Glycerol

Presenters

Ta'Nyia HeardFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Faculty Sponsor Name

Dr. Heather Abbott-Lyon

This project does not utilize human/animal subjects.

Project Type

Event

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Phosphorus is an important component of many human body structures and functions, such as the hydroxyapatite that composes our bones and the nucleic acids that carry our genetic information. However, little information is known about how phosphorus was first incorporated into life during the Archaean Eon. While geological record indicated that phosphate minerals were abundant on Early Earth, these minerals are highly insoluble and, once dissolved, are highly unreactive in aqueous solutions. This research project seeks to discover and understand how organophosphates were formed through prebiotic chemistry. The Abbott-Lyon Laboratory hypothesizes that organophosphates are created through a two-step process of phosphonylation followed by oxidation. In an aqueous solution of metal phosphites, glycerol becomes phosphonylated when heated and can be oxidized subsequently, yielding the phosphorylated product. With phosphonoacetic acid as an external standard, 31P NMR provides for us detect the phosphorus product and calculate their percent yields. Currently, the Abbott-Lyon Laboratory is working to optimize the parameters of the 31P NMR measurements, in particular the time delay and acquisition time, to produce high-resolution, replicable spectra for percent yield analysis. We intend to compare our percent yield results with measurements for direct phosphorylation by phosphates in aqueous solutions with low water activity.

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Metal Phosphite Reactivity by Phosphonylation with Glycerol

Phosphorus is an important component of many human body structures and functions, such as the hydroxyapatite that composes our bones and the nucleic acids that carry our genetic information. However, little information is known about how phosphorus was first incorporated into life during the Archaean Eon. While geological record indicated that phosphate minerals were abundant on Early Earth, these minerals are highly insoluble and, once dissolved, are highly unreactive in aqueous solutions. This research project seeks to discover and understand how organophosphates were formed through prebiotic chemistry. The Abbott-Lyon Laboratory hypothesizes that organophosphates are created through a two-step process of phosphonylation followed by oxidation. In an aqueous solution of metal phosphites, glycerol becomes phosphonylated when heated and can be oxidized subsequently, yielding the phosphorylated product. With phosphonoacetic acid as an external standard, 31P NMR provides for us detect the phosphorus product and calculate their percent yields. Currently, the Abbott-Lyon Laboratory is working to optimize the parameters of the 31P NMR measurements, in particular the time delay and acquisition time, to produce high-resolution, replicable spectra for percent yield analysis. We intend to compare our percent yield results with measurements for direct phosphorylation by phosphates in aqueous solutions with low water activity.