The role of borosilicate glass in Miller–Urey experiment - Scientific Reports


We have designed a set of experiments to test the role of borosilicate reactor on the yielding of the Miller–Urey type of experiment. Two experiments were performed in borosilicate flasks, two in a Teflon flask and the third couple in a Teflon flask with pieces of borosilicate submerged in the water. The experiments were performed in CH4, N2, and NH3 atmosphere either buffered at pH 8.7 with NH4Cl or unbuffered solutions at pH ca. 11, at room temperature. The Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectroscopy results show important differences in the yields, the number of products, and molecular weight. In particular, a dipeptide, multi-carbon dicarboxylic acids, PAHs, and a complete panel of biological nucleobases form more efficiently or exclusively in the borosilicate vessel. Our results offer a better explanation of the famous Miller’s experiment showing the efficiency of borosilicate in a triphasic system including water and the reduced Miller–Urey atmosphere.


Not surprising. Probably you’d get different results with different minerals. I think it was Lee Cronin’s group showed something similar for the formose reaction.

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Link here Taming combinatorial explosion of the formose reaction via recursion within mineral environments - Enlighten: Publications

Edit: Recalled another similar paper also:

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