Determination of the Possible Source of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons Detected By SAM during MSL Mission

Abstract : The SAM GC-MS instrument on the Curiosity rover allows to analyze volatile compounds from the atmosphere or volatile compounds from the Martian regolith and refractory compounds in the regolith after sample treatment using wet chemistry. One portion of the wet chemistry experiment is composed of MTBSTFA (N-methyl-N-tert-butyldimethylsilyltrifluoroacetamide) / DMF (dimethylformamide). Abundant chlorinated hydrocarbons have been detected with SAM when analyzing samples collected in several sites explored by Curiosity rover. Some of these chlorohydrocarbons are produced during pyrolysis by the reaction of Martian oxychlorine compounds in the samples with terrestrial carbon from a derivatization agent (MTBSTFA) used in SAM (1, 2). Chlorobenzene cannot be formed by the direct reaction of MTBSTFA and DMF when heated in the presence of fused silica and perchlorates under SAM-like conditions (1)) therefore two other reaction pathways for chlorobenzene were proposed : (1) reactions between the volatile thermal degradation products of perchlorates (e.g. O2, Cl2 and HCl) and Tenax® and (2) the interaction of perchlorates with organic material from the martian regolith such as benzenecarboxylates (3, 4). This study investigates several propositions for chlorinated hydrocarbon formation by looking for: (1) all products coming from the interaction of Tenax® (which is part of the SAM hydrocarbon trap) and perchlorates, (2) also between some soil sample and perchlorates in the presence or absence of MTBSTFA and (c) sources of chlorinated hydrocarbon precursors. References: 1. D. P. Glavin et al.(2013) JGR 118, 1955–1973. 2. L. a Leshin et al. (2013) Science 341, 1238937. 3. C. Freissinet et al. (2014) LPSC XXXXV Abstract 2796. 4. D. Glavin et al. (2014) LPSC XXXV Abstract #1157.
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  • HAL Id : hal-01115235, version 1

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Arnaud Buch, Imene Belmahdi, Cyril Szopa, Caroline Freissinet, Daniel Glavin, et al.. Determination of the Possible Source of Chlorinated Hydrocarbons Detected By SAM during MSL Mission. AGU Fall Meeting 2014, Dec 2014, San Francisco, United States. pp.P43D-4009. ⟨hal-01115235⟩

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