Schematic representation of a possible CO-derived hydrocarbon formation at the nitrogenase active site. Black circles represent CO binding sites, presumably Fe atoms, upon which two CO can bind. Following reduction to semi-reduced states (–CHx and –CHy), coupling can occur, resulting in formation of a CHx-CHy species. The binding of additional CO molecules can lead to further chain elongation.

Image Credit: Seefeldt and Yang, Utah State University.

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