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Energetic and Entropic Analysis of Mirror Symmetry Breaking Processes in a Recycled Microreversible Chemical System

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posted on 19.03.2009, 00:00 by Raphaël Plasson, Hugues Bersini
Understanding how biological homochirality emerged remains a challenge for the researchers interested in the origin of life. During the last decades, stable nonracemic steady states of nonequilibrium chemical systems have been discussed as a possible response to this problem. In line with this framework, a description of recycled systems was provided in which stable products can be activated back to reactive compounds. The dynamical behavior of such systems relies on the presence of a source of energy, leading to the continuous maintaining of unidirectional reaction loops. A full thermodynamic study of recycled systems, composed of microreversible reactions only, is presented here, showing how the energy is transferred and distributed through the system, leading to cycle competitions and the stabilization of asymmetric states.