The idea of acetylene - eating organisms on Titan is "highly speculative" but intriguing, he says.
But in that case, too, a catalyst would be needed to boost reaction rates enough to account for the dearth of acetylene.
Recent estimates suggest the lakes are made of 80 per cent ethane, with slugs of propane, methane and acetylene, which could be a source of food for Titanian life, some researchers suggest.
But since no probe has directly sampled them, no one knows how much acetylene they might contain.
This would result in a lack of acetylene on Titan and a depletion of hydrogen close to the moon's surface, where the microbes would live, they said.
Similarly, non- biological chemical reactions could transform acetylene into benzene – a hydrocarbon that the VIMS instrument did observe on Titan's surface.
They suggested such organisms could eat acetylene that falls to the surface after forming in the atmosphere, combining it with hydrogen to gain energy.
About 50 people living in properties near the scrapyard were temporarily evacuated as a precaution while the cylinders, some of which contained highly flammable acetylene, were cooled and made safe.
New calculations suggest Titan's hydrocarbon lakes are loaded with acetylene, a chemical some scientists say could serve as food for cold -resistant organisms.
So let's take the case of acetylene where we have two carbon atoms that are going to be triple bonded to each other, each are bonded to a carbon and then to one hydrogen.