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Is currently hard to find a way in which classic dragons could develop and use the fire-breathing, so find a way in which this could happen for blue fire of complete combustion is even harder. Read this How could dragons be explained without magic?

I was wondering this because blue fire have some important advantages, is hotter, is more efficient, more controllable (it does not expand so quickly and chaotically) and therefore precise, it also does not produce ash, soot or carbon monoxide, besides it can be said that it is capable of "burning" normal fire.

The notorious problems for blue fire breather dragon is that blue fire is hotter and if it's hard to deal with the normal fire temperature this is even harder, and the other problem is the raw material, I don't know if a biological system is able to produce or get in a relative easy way the required composals, a good material for complete combustion is the n-heptane.

And finally in an evolutive vision, why would a fire-breathing dragon need this fire?, if normal fire is enough.

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  • $\begingroup$ tell that to all godzilla except shin-gojira... $\endgroup$ – user6760 Feb 28 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ @user6760. Godzilla have a radioactive breathe, the color blue is explained as ionized gas particles caused by the high energy around the air $\endgroup$ – Drakio-X Feb 28 at 7:18
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    $\begingroup$ There are a lot of questions here. What exactly do you want answered? $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Feb 28 at 7:19
  • $\begingroup$ Also, what is "ollin"? $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Feb 28 at 7:19
  • $\begingroup$ @jdunlop. The main question at the title, the other at the text are contextualizing for have in count other problems $\endgroup$ – Drakio-X Feb 28 at 7:22
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Methane.

Methane flame is blue, and methane is very easily produced by several biologic processes that might take place in the dragon's gut.

You start with a grisou-belching reptile. Then it acquires flame bombing capabilities, because if it clicks its teeth just so while belching, the toroid of explosive gas will detonate at a safe-ish distance from the mouth. Several variants misfiring dragons exploded before reproducing and are now extinct.

The capability of stunning prey with a gas explosion turns out to be a decisive advantage, and dragons evolve that produce more and more methane, and finally become capable of storing it for lengthy periods, releasing it at will.

From there, we get a dragon that can expel a mostly pure methane jet at high enough speeds that it's safe from most of the heat (nonetheless, they also evolved thick, horny, heat-proof muzzle scales).

And that's a blue flame dragon.

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  • $\begingroup$ I´m not chemist I just read that n-heptane is a good bluefire composal, how much different is metane compared with heptane? $\endgroup$ – Drakio-X Feb 28 at 20:16
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    $\begingroup$ There are organic pathways that end up with n-heptane (the linear form), but they are not present in ordinary gut bacteria. They are instead used as a poison by some pine trees that employ alkanes as a defense aganst vermin. Of course, nothing prevents you from positing symbiotic bacteria that secrete n-heptane. Then, scavenging n-heptane and getting rid of it through belching might have evolved as a defense for the larger host organism. $\endgroup$ – LSerni Feb 28 at 21:38
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Yeah this is a stretch, but it's all I've got...

Your dragon burps Chlorine gas, and has half a knight caught in it's mouth.

Years ago a knight attacked the dragon, and while the dragon ultimately won, the knights copper chainmail armour got caught in the dragon's teeth, the copper is stuck in the dragon's mouth and has been for considerable time.

The dragon has a different digestive system to what we know today, resulting in chlorine gas burps.

When the dragon breathes fire, the chlorine gas and the copper get heated to over 400 degrees C, forming Copper Chloride, which has the property of dying a flame blue.

Copper Chainmail:
enter image description here

Copper Chloride added to a fire:
enter image description here

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Flames turning different colors is so common that the "flame test" is routinely used to determine what something is by what color it burns.

Here is a list including all sorts of colors. Some blues are arsenic, copper(I), and lead.

As for how it evolved, metals can be cumulative poisons. The dragons evolved this way to concentrate and then expel them from the body.

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Potassium chloride, copper(I) chloride, and butane all create blue fire when burned. Copper(I) chloride could be synthesized organically. Alternatively, you can raise the temperature of the fire to 2,600-3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which would create blue flame.

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The Primary method that flames are coloured by is atomic transitions.

The light emitted from Atomic transitionscomes from an electron changing from one 'orbit' to a lower energy 'orbit', the change in energy is emitted as light. but the exact energy (which gives the color of the light) of the orbits are dependent on the specific atom, so different atoms give different colours through this method.

There are many methods to change the colour using atomic transitions, which would give flames that behave like normal fire but are just a different colour. To make the flames blue you could include in the flames some thing like copper ions enter image description here

or sulphur.

enter image description here

The copper ions could be present as a compound in the mouth, possibly as a toxin, as metals can have significant biological interactions (for example, Heme, the core of red blood which contains iron).

If it uses sulphur then it could use that as its fuel as sulphur burns on its own, and is a liquid at ~115 °C so could be sprayed out as a liquid. But it would have to consume a lot of it, maybe from volcanic deposits

enter image description here

An unfortunate downside of sulphur is when it burns it releases a gas called sulphur dioxide which, along with smelling like rotten eggs, forms an acid when it dissolves in water, so your dragon would have to have systems to cope.

Alternatively you could use more oxygen with your fuel, possible using a something like an Vacuum ejector. This would give you the blue seen with oxy-acetylene torches,

enter image description here

but this would cause a hotter flame, a few methods that could reduce the possibility of burning the dragon are, it could have insulation possible using Aerogel like material in its scales around the mouth as aerogel is highly insulative enter image description here

hopefully that helps.(i may add/adjust more later)

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  • $\begingroup$ This is very interesting, is there a way to get oxyacetylene by natural mediums?, or be biologically synthesized?, I will let bio-aerogel for other question. $\endgroup$ – Drakio-X Mar 1 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ @Drakio-X, Oxyacetylene is a mix of two chemicals, oxygen and Acetylene. oxygen is a component of the atmosphere, and Acetylene can be produced biologically, with microbes 1, 2. It can also be produced by heating larger hydrocarbon compounds (to ~1400°C) with a catalyst $\endgroup$ – Nyra Mar 1 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ @Drakio-X, Also on bio-aerogel, while not a an a aerogel, many creatures produce silical, exibit A which is what most aerogel is made of. so your dragon might be able produce an aerogel like substance. $\endgroup$ – Nyra Mar 1 at 23:22
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Ethanol makes blue flames.

ethanol flame

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol

Ethanol is of course compatible with biochemistry. Usually we make it with yeast if we want it but it is possible to have an onboard brewery, where commensal microbes make ethanol: auto-brewery syndrome. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto-brewery_syndrome

I suspect that exactly this goes on in the guts of large ruminants which is why it is hard to get horses drunk - they are making ethanol all the time. That said, elephants apparently like to get drunk and supposedly will raid a place for liquor if they smell it.


All that said - ethanol is a fine biomolecule and would make your blue flame but I am not sure what about blueness confers all the awesome properties of blue flame you describe. There are lots of different blue flames. Ethanol flames are not very hot which is why you can screw up your flaming Bacardi 151 shots and not get hurt that bad.

Ah yes, the dragon. It is a vegetarian and a ruminant along the lines of a sauropod. It has autobrewery syndrome going like mad and is drunk as a lord all of the time. Flames are used to clear away mosquitoes and biting flies.

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