I have been trying to find a solvent for my fluorine-based cells. I have asked if CF4 could be an alternative to water, but I am sure I can find a better replacement. Is there any liquid at temperatures of -180 C to -170 C that has similar solvent properties to water?
The challenge is: a polar solvent like water, made of molecules that are not too esoteric, liquid at the prescribed temperature, and I am going to assume 1 bar pressure.
- Melting point −192.2 °C; −313.9 °F; 81.0 K
- Boiling point −112 °C; −170 °F; 161 K
- Solubility in water 1.05 g L−1 (at 0 °C)
Ozone fits the bill. In our warm world it is transiently stable as a gas but tends to break down and react with reduced carbon and whatever else. In this cold world it will be a polar liquid - still comparably reactive but chemistry is sluggish at these temperatures and spontaneous reactions are rare.
Your cells will generate ozone liquid using electrochemistry. A world this cold will probably be dark but electricity will conduct well and I imagine the autotrophic organisms to be electrotrophs, harvesting ambient charge.
As plants use photochemistry to split the oxygen off of water, liberating O2 and keeping the hydrogen molecules, your autotrophs will use electrochemistry to generate ozone from liquid oxygen. Alternatively they might split the O off of water ice and combine that with O2 to form their ozone, liberating the hydrogen waste product.
In addition to being a polar liquid medium the ozone is good energy storage, always ready to energetically convert ambient hydrogen or methane back to water.
Your polar ozone blood can contain non polar micelles of liquid nitrogen, oxygen and argon just as our cells fill of water separate compartments with non polar micelles of lipid.
from comments /The only problem i see is the instability of ozone, in the most stable laboratory conditions it can only last just over a day before decaying into O2,/ @KaffeeByte
That is true at standard temperature. But the colder the ozone is the longer it lasts.
This world is substantially colder than -50 °C.
Melting point -223°C, boiling point -144°C, and apparently already used as a solvent in one sci fi story called Camelot 30K (so sayeth wikipedia).
This is what you'll probably end up with at least as a byproduct if you have ozone and fluorine around as ozone decomposes catalytically in the presence of fluorine.
It has full p shells for all 3 atoms so I would expect it'd be more stable than ozone re: self disproportionation but it is definitely far more reactive towards anything vaguely oxidisable present.
The wiki page on oxygen fluorides notes that, a little like water, there are isolatable less stable analogues with more atoms such as O2F2 ('FOOF'), O3F2, etc.