I know water would be out of the question, but what about liquid nitrogen or liquid hydrogen, Would silicon work instead of carbon?
Non-carbon based biochemistry implies the ability to create long molecular chains. The more common alternative mentioned is often silicon (silanes), but other candidates may exist : boranes, sulfur...
The liquid necessary for life support could be ammonia, sulfuric acid, formamide, hydrocarbons, or liquid gas (nitrogen, supercritical fluid hydrogen).
None of these alternatives have however be observed, and carbon-based chemistry seems to be the best competitor : longer chains, fast reactions, etc.
From projectrho, here is an exemple of macromolecule/solvent combination (at 1 ATM, temperature in °C).
- Fluorosilicones in Fluorosilicones 400° to 500°C
- Fluorocarbons in Molten Sulfur 113° to 445°C
- Proteins in Water 0° to 100°C
- Proteins in Liquid Ammonia -77.7° to -33.4°C
- Lipids in Liquid Methane -183.6° to -161.6°C
- Lipids in Liquid Hydrogen -253° C to -240° C