Journal Highlight: Identifying chiral molecules and their enantiomeric excesses in extraterrestrial samples: An experimental journey

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  • Published: Sep 12, 2016
  • Author: separationsNOW
  • Channels: Gas Chromatography
thumbnail image: Journal Highlight: Identifying chiral molecules and their enantiomeric excesses in extraterrestrial samples: An experimental journey
The state-of-the-art on enantiomeric distributions of chiral organic molecules in extraterrestrial materials is reviewed, focusing on innovative methodologies such as the design and use of chiral stationary phases for GC columns for meteorite analysis.

Identifying chiral molecules and their enantiomeric excesses in extraterrestrial samples: An experimental journey

Israel Journal of Chemistry, 2016, online
Sandra Pizzarello

Abstract: Extraterrestrial materials have showered the Earth since it formed and may be as diverse as small presolar grains of stellar origins, larger bodies made of dust and water, such as km-sized comets, and stony meteorites of various sizes and composition broken off asteroids. Between these, carbonaceous chondrites have the distinction of containing up to 30 % carbon, most of which is present as organic material. This review follows studies over nearly half a century, and in particular, chronicles the progress toward understanding the enantiomeric distributions in some of their chiral organic molecules through innovative methodologies, from the seminal design of chiral stationary phases for GC columns by Gil-Av to the optimization of their use through compound-specific isolation and derivatization techniques developed for meteorite samples.

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