We test the hypothesis that methane is the source of the carbon observed in carbon-bearing molecules around oxygen-rich stars, by considering the synthesis of formaldehyde which is formed in the reaction between oxygen atoms and methyl radicals. We find that, provided that the parent methane abundance is large enough, millimetre-wave emission lines of H2CO should be detectable in such stars. We also consider the formation of other species, notably H2CN and H2CS, from methyl radicals, but conclude that they will be at least one order of magnitude less abundant than H2CO and therefore not detectable with current instrumentation.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|