I have created a life form that is based on the element boron. As a substitute for DNA it instead uses Diborane as a building block. I've come across a problem however that I can't seem to get around. This problem is what would these Boron cells use to obtain energy?
The atmosphere of the planet this creature lives in is heavily reducing. This means most of the oxidizing agents are locked up in bonds with other elements. This creature mainly breathes methane to power chemical reactions in a process of cellular respiration that looks like this.
4CONHNH2NOHN2 + 22CH4 = 20NH3 + 11C2H4 + 4CO2
Methane is used to break down a chemical similar to carbohydrazide and is turned into ammonia, ethylene and carbon dioxide.
In carbon based biochemistry, the energy that allows this process to happen comes from ATP which is broken down in the process of hydrolysis, giving the cell energy. However, ATP is mostly carbon and oxygen based, which this boron based life form doesn't have a lot of. Knowing this, what could these boron based creatures use as an alternative to ATP?