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Microdroplets initiate organic-inorganic interactions and mass transfer in thermal hydrous geosystems

Yuan, Guanghui; Jin, Zihao; Cao, Yingchang; Schulz, Hans-Martin; Gluyas, Jon; Liu, Keyu; He, Xingliang; Wang, Yanzhong

Microdroplets initiate organic-inorganic interactions and mass transfer in thermal hydrous geosystems Thumbnail


Authors

Guanghui Yuan

Zihao Jin

Yingchang Cao

Hans-Martin Schulz

Keyu Liu

Xingliang He

Yanzhong Wang



Abstract

Organic-inorganic interactions regulate the dynamics of hydrocarbons, water, minerals, CO2, and H2 in thermal rocks, yet their initiation remains debated. To address this, we conducted isotope-tagged and in-situ visual thermal experiments. Isotope-tagged studies revealed extensive H/O transfers in hydrous n-C20H42-H2O-feldspar systems. Visual experiments observed water microdroplets forming at 150–165 °C in oil phases near the water-oil interface without surfactants, persisting until complete miscibility above 350 °C. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) detected hydroxyl free radicals concurrent with microdroplet formation. Here we propose a two-fold mechanism: water-derived and n-C20H42-derived free radicals drive interactions with organic species, while water-derived and mineral-derived ions trigger mineral interactions. These processes, facilitated by microdroplets and bulk water, blur boundaries between organic and inorganic species, enabling extensive interactions and mass transfer. Our findings redefine microscopic interplays between organic and inorganic components, offering insights into diagenetic and hydrous-metamorphic processes, and mass transfer cycles in deep basins and subduction zones.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 22, 2024
Online Publication Date Jun 11, 2024
Publication Date Jun 11, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 18, 2024
Publicly Available Date Jun 18, 2024
Journal Nature Communications
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 1
Article Number 4960
DOI https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-024-49293-y
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/2484120

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