I have been really interested in scientific hypotheses regarding abiogenesis, particularly the lipid-world hypothesis. However, I could not find information on the chemical pathway that leads to the synthesis of amphiphilic molecules such as fatty-acids. All I've been able to find is that it involves the mineral montmorillonite which allows the step-wise formation of fatty acids using carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H). However, I want to know the exact chemical process. Thanks! Here's a link to a video explaining Abiogenesis.Here's the information that I was able to gather from the video Note: I simplified the Montmorillonite structure and only included the parts that were involved (mainly the very negative oxygen atoms)

My hypothesis is the following: If alkanes were present in the earth's oceans, polymerization of fatty acids could have occurred via chain radical addition. However I'm not sure where the initial radical would come from on the montmorillonite clay particle. Just an idea.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm unsure as to how the termination step would work. $\endgroup$ May 18, 2017 at 23:56


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