Alkyl phosphonic acids and sulfonic acids in the Murchison meteorite

Geochim Cosmochim Acta. 1992;56:4109-15. doi: 10.1016/0016-7037(92)90023-c.


Homologous series of alkyl phosphonic acids and alkyl sulfonic acids, along with inorganic orthophosphate and sulfate, have been identified in water extracts of the Murchison meteorite after conversion to their t-butyl dimethylsilyl (tBDMS) derivatives. The methyl, ethyl, propyl, and butyl compounds have been observed in both series. Five of the eight possible alkyl phosphonic acids and seven of the eight possible alkyl sulfonic acids through C4 have been identified. Abundances decrease with increasing carbon number as observed of other homologous series indigenous to Murchison. Concentrations range downward from approximately 380 nmol/gram in alkyl sulfonic acid series, and from 9 nmol/gram in the alkyl phosphonic acid series. Inorganic phosphate is present at about 25 micromoles/gram.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alkanesulfonic Acids / analysis
  • Alkylation
  • Chemistry, Organic
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Geological Phenomena
  • Geology
  • Organic Chemistry Phenomena
  • Organophosphonates / analysis*
  • Solar System*
  • Sulfonic Acids / analysis*


  • Alkanesulfonic Acids
  • Organophosphonates
  • Sulfonic Acids