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The tension between CO2 dissolved at relatively high atmospheric pressure in the Hadean ocean, and H2 generated as ocean water oxidized ferrous iron during convection in the oceanic crust, was resolved by the onset of life. We suggest that this chemosynthetic life emerged within hydrothermal mounds produced by alkaline solutions of moderate temperature in the relative safety of the deep ocean floor. Exothermic reaction between hydrothermal H2, HCOO and CH3S with CO2 was catalyzed in inorganic membranes near the mound's surface by mackinawite (FeS) nanocrysts and “ready-made” clusters corresponding to the...

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