I previously asked a broad enough question about designing a fictional gas but it was advised by two users to split it into smaller questions. So here I am.

The main property I want this gas to have is an incompatibility with electricity so that enough of an electrical reaction could lower its quality, push it away, or simply render it unusable. Any of these is okay. A hypothetical creature that needs to breathe that gas to live would get sick, or die if it was too dependant on the gas/weak enough.

What I mean by polluting or lowering the quality of the gas, is this: the air we humans need can easily be made unbreathable or difficult to breathe by smoke. Something similar would happen to this gas, but with electricity. A lightning strike could, for example, charge the gas in a way that makes it highly volatile.

'Electricity' here means visible sparks, lightning shocks, and electric fields.

Is this scientifically possible? How?

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    $\begingroup$ I would suggest you to use the sandbox, there you can get the help of other valuable members to make your question crisp. As it is now is rather fuzzy: what do mean with incompatibility and lower its quality, for example? $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Aug 13 '18 at 13:02
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    $\begingroup$ Raditz_35 and L.Dutch, I updated the question with more details. $\endgroup$ – Virdex_ Aug 13 '18 at 13:23

Our atmosphere suffers greatly from exposure to too much electrical charge, in the presence of an active spark Nitrogen(N2) and Oxygen(O2) react to form Nitric Oxide (NO) a noxious gas that readily combines with water (like on your eyes or the inside of your lungs) to form Nitric Acid(HNO3). Oxygen can also form Ozone under those conditions, Ozone is a very strong oxidiser that can cause otherwise stable gases like atmospheric Nitrogen to burn and is potentially toxic in reasonable concentrations.

In response to the discussion in the comments:

Ozone (O3) is only semi-stable in the atmosphere, it naturally decays to form Oxygen (O2), at high concentrations it can and is triggered by electrical sparks to burn releasing the same heat (mole for mole) as pure Carbon. Pure Ozone is one one millionth the density of coal so the absolute heat output can be inferred at 1/1,000,000 the output of the same volume of coal. Ozone will burn as a pure gas with no other gases present. It's distinct from normal air being pale blue in colour and sharp smelling at concentrations over 10%, as it is 75% denser than air it can concentrate low in the air column displacing normal air.

Note the Oxygen from Ozone decay will take up more than 50% more volume than it's parent gas, there are 3 Oxygen molecules for every 2 Ozone and it will be somewhat hotter too.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. However, this wasn't exactly what I meant. Imagine a little cloud of smoke vanishing or being dispersed in some way when exposed to an electric sparkle. $\endgroup$ – Virdex_ Aug 13 '18 at 13:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Virdex_ I'll have to think about that, I'll get back to you. $\endgroup$ – Ash Aug 13 '18 at 13:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Virdex_ X is only semi-stable, if you put a charge through pure X it turns into Y and releases a whole lot of radiant heat, X can it fact burn in X, X is also visually distinct from Y, is that the kind of thing you're thinking of? $\endgroup$ – Ash Aug 13 '18 at 14:25
  • $\begingroup$ yes, that's close. However, how much is 'a whole lot' of radiant heat? Would it seriously hurt people nearby? It would be better if it didn't, but it's okay. $\endgroup$ – Virdex_ Aug 13 '18 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Virdex_ It would flash burn someone standing right in it but the volume expansion would be a bigger issue. $\endgroup$ – Ash Aug 13 '18 at 15:03

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