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I am aware that brainstorming isn't exactly allowed and this just might lean a lot towards that but here's my question anyways.

Imagine a robot made out of Handwavium or something that is capable of powering itself through absorbing electrons from atoms surrounding it. Yes I am aware of the issues with this but like I said I'll just handwave it. This means that wherever it goes it positively ionizes atoms in its surroundings. Also the atmosphere that it resides in is similar in composition to earths with the exception of it being made of around 2% hydrogen sulfide.

So my question is: If a machine like this wandered on a planet with such an atmosphere what sort of Ion bonds would form around it? Would it possibly leave a trail of compounds that could be followed or maybe a layer of a rust like substance would slowly accumulate on it? You may suggest other compounds than the ones I mentioned that may reside in the environment to help create bonds.

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    $\begingroup$ It doesn't seem like you did your research. A Spark gap transmitter. will ionize the air, except it costs energy. Meanwhile the Miller-Urey experiment, often in textbooks gives a hint that the resulting chemistry will be complex, very complex. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 22:37
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    $\begingroup$ Err, isn't the robot going to build up a huge electric charge? This will, sooner or later, short out. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 19:33

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Positively charged molecules would equilibrate electrically with their surroundings.

You are describing a creature powered by static electricity.

https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/electricity/the-science-of-electricity.php

The electrons in the shells closest to the nucleus have a strong force of attraction to the protons. Sometimes, the electrons in an atom's outermost shells do not have a strong force of attraction to the protons. These electrons can be pushed out of their orbits. Applying a force can make them shift from one atom to another. These shifting electrons are electricity.

If your creature harvests electrical charge somehow and leaves charged molecules in its wake, those charged molecules will equilibrate with other molecules in their environment. If the charged region is grounded it will ground out and the charge will vanish. If the charged region is insulated from the ground it could make a spark across to something that is grounded - like a static shock after petting the cat too much, or a bolt of lighting.

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    $\begingroup$ I think OP is interested in the chemical composition of the air surrounding their robot, not really how the robot might work (which they're ready to handwave anyway). Ionizing the air mixture could lead to different kinds of molecules forming. $\endgroup$
    – BMF
    Commented Jan 31, 2023 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ @BMF thank you for understanding my question. I am more interested in what molecules would end up forming to possibly make interesting interactions. $\endgroup$
    – Venik Hue
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 20:21
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    $\begingroup$ A bucketload of ozone for sure. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 20:38
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    $\begingroup$ Ozone (or other unusual ionize created gas) will dissipate rapidly, and If I understand your question you are attempting to track the robot using unusual compounds, so you might update you question by requesting heavier (solid/liquid) compounds. A similar published story by Kate Wilhem tracked a robot by the radioactive trail it left. For tracking ionized compounds, look to common surface elements (you already mentioned Fe/Rust) like aluminum or silica. The compounds you would track would be unusual ions of those. Instead of FeO2, look for FeO3 or FeO4. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 0:09

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