most complex abiotic (nonliving) molecules

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    • #18168
      mattw
      Participant

      Has anyone has gathered a list of nature’s most complex non living molecules? What abiotic molecules have the greatest number of unique atoms, most daltons, etc. I’m thinking about crystals, but these generally only have a few unique elements repeated over and over again. Thanks 🙂

    • #115823
      EnricoPallazzo
      Participant

      Lignin comes into my mind. Lignins are formed via radical-induced coupling of phenolic compounds and support the strength of plant cell walls. However, they are part of plant tissues (in trees), and they might not exactly meet your definition (?).
      But the lignin in a single tree is believed to be one continuous, growing structure. Thus it can be seen as one large molecule.

    • #115824
      mattw
      Participant

      That’s great. Living nature wins again. Lignin is a huge molecule. Are there any complex molecules that develop without living syatems?

    • #115834
      claudepa
      Participant

      HI,
      Its seems to me very difficult to know on earth if an abiotic molecule is really abiotic since life can be everywhere on earth. Perhaps investigations on the moon and on mars could be more profitable for abiotic molecules since until now no life was found.

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