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I recently learned about a chemical known as chlorine trifluoride. This utter abomination of chemistry reacts to almost everything, setting glass, sand, asbestos, and rust on fire (to name only a few), and can only be loosely contained in a fluorine-treated metal container (the fluorine layer must not be damaged, at risk of explosion). This chemical is deadly beyond reason...

...and, as is typical with me, I started trying to combine it with other things. My question is this: Can a dragon-like creature be biologically designed to create and excrete this substance as a breath weapon? How many biological processes would have to be redesigned or completely handwaved to allow this? Can such a creature even exist in our atmosphere?

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    $\begingroup$ I guess you haven't heard of $FOOF$ yet? $ClF_3$ has a use. $FOOF$ doesn't. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Dec 20 '16 at 23:50
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    $\begingroup$ @JanDvorak I had actually heard of FOOF, from the XKCD What If on pressure cookers. From what I can tell, though, it decomposes at room temperature, making its effectiveness as a biological breath weapon somewhat nonexistent. $\endgroup$ – Lepidolite Mica Dec 21 '16 at 1:10
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    $\begingroup$ If a dragon could biologically synthesize FOOF, it would probably explode. I suspect that ClF3 would have similar issues. $\endgroup$ – Thucydides Dec 21 '16 at 3:24
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    $\begingroup$ Woah, what the heck? This exact question occurred to me just today. Good timing! $\endgroup$ – hexagon Dec 21 '16 at 3:48
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    $\begingroup$ You could have it so the chlorine trifloride is produced as it is going out, so it doesn't hurt the dragon. $\endgroup$ – Grant Davis Dec 22 '16 at 0:24
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So the trick is to create a separate space for the chlorine and the fluoride in the dragon. Set up the dragon's system so that it separates fluorine from the atmosphere (there are tons of fluoride compounds floating around up there) and stores it in a specialized air sack along one side. The same system is necessary for the chlorine, which will be gotten from sea-water. The dragon can separate the chlorine from the sodium and will store both. The chlorine will be stored in another air sack on the other side of its body, which will need to be coated in strong mucus because Cl2 will form hydrochloric acid if it comes into contact with water, the sodium will be stored in a special oil gland. When the dragon wishes to breath ClF3, it simply expels both fluorine and chlorine at the same time. The fluorine will coat the dragon's mouth, preventing ClF3 from hurting it. The gases will mix, yielding ClF3 and excess chlorine gas, which is also toxic. The fluorine that coats the dragon's mouth can be reused.

The sodium the dragon extracts from the sea water can be used as a separate attack. The dragon can expel clumps of sodium, which reacts violently with water. These bombs could be spat out with force, or simply dropped down on people or ships.

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