Event Title

P-13 The Chemical Challenges of Fixing Nitrogen

Presenter Information

Joshua Pak, Andrews UniversityFollow

Location

Buller Hall 149

Start Date

3-11-2022 1:30 PM

End Date

3-11-2022 3:30 PM

Department

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Description

Breaking the triple bond of dinitrogen is chemically challenging requiring high temperatures, high pressures, special iron catalysts, and carefully engineered systems to “fix” dinitrogen and make it usable as ammonia. Fixing dinitrogen is critical to the survival of all life on Earth. The enzyme nitrogenase, found in nitrogen-fixing organisms, can fix nitrogen at ambient temperatures and pressures. Can chemo-biological evolution adequately explain nitrogenase’s emergence or are there critical chemical barriers that suggest the intentional involvement of intelligence? Our methodology uses primary scientific research to understand nitrogenase’s cellular mechanism, chemical structure, and reaction mechanism alongside genetic ancestral phylogeny of diazotrophs.

Acknowledgments

Advisor: Ryan Hayes, Chemistry & Biochemistry

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Mar 11th, 1:30 PM Mar 11th, 3:30 PM

P-13 The Chemical Challenges of Fixing Nitrogen

Buller Hall 149

Breaking the triple bond of dinitrogen is chemically challenging requiring high temperatures, high pressures, special iron catalysts, and carefully engineered systems to “fix” dinitrogen and make it usable as ammonia. Fixing dinitrogen is critical to the survival of all life on Earth. The enzyme nitrogenase, found in nitrogen-fixing organisms, can fix nitrogen at ambient temperatures and pressures. Can chemo-biological evolution adequately explain nitrogenase’s emergence or are there critical chemical barriers that suggest the intentional involvement of intelligence? Our methodology uses primary scientific research to understand nitrogenase’s cellular mechanism, chemical structure, and reaction mechanism alongside genetic ancestral phylogeny of diazotrophs.