Questions tagged [chemistry]

For questions that have to do with chemistry, chemical reactions be they biological or artificial, or the industrial processes of chemistry.

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2 votes
2 answers
229 views

What could make an animal have hallucinogenic blood?

The animal in question is not hallucinating, but instead the humans who drink the blood of the serpent experience an altered state of consciousness that’s used in shamanistic ritual. What chemicals ...
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45 votes
10 answers
11k views

If humans were the size of ants could we have campfires?

Had a dream that I was the size of an ant and I was being chased by spiders and other small horrors. I created a campfire and was able to scare off the insects. When I woke up I came up with a TTRPG ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
81 views

Can an object become flammable by being dipped in an arsenic lake?

I have a (water) lake on a planet that has a high concentration of arsenic in its crust. As a result, the lake has an extremely high concentration of aqueous arsenic. From my research, it seems like ...
-5 votes
4 answers
240 views

If people in Iron Age times had access to uranium, would it be used over iron?

Let's say that in 1,200 BC, aliens secretly come to Earth and turn all of the uranium oxides into pure uranium.The aliens then leave and humans discover this new metal. Uranium has a lower melting ...
12 votes
4 answers
5k views

If people in medieval times had access to titanium, would it be used over steel?

Let's say that in 1,100 AD, aliens secretly come to Earth and turn all of the titanium oxides into pure titanium.The aliens then leave and humans discover this new metal. By the late medieval era, ...
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

If Aluminum was non-reactive, could there have been an "Aluminum Age" instead of a Bronze Age?

Aluminum is the most common metal on Earth. Despite this fact, this element wasn't discovered until the 19th Century. This is because Aluminum is never naturally found in the ground. Instead, aluminum ...
2 votes
1 answer
270 views

How plausible is my alien world? Atmospheric Content

The theoretical world of Hēdran is the 2nd planet of a 7 planet system. It lies within its star' s (G1.4) habitable zone, but with a hot jupiter gas giant only ~1 AU away it experiences heavy ...
16 votes
10 answers
5k views

Suppose dragons spewed volcanic ash instead of fire. How much more deadly would they be?

In my setting I have monsters that breathe elemental clouds/blasts of certain substances, assume them to basically be dragons. Among the largest (and I mean, Godzilla sized) are some that spit hot ...
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15 votes
4 answers
294 views

How to get relatively durable bubbles

How would one make a flat bubble stretched between two sides of a triangle that can withstand pressures up to at least 0.25 pounds per square inch? If it goes higher that's fine, as long as it still ...
3 votes
1 answer
74 views

Do sulfuric acid plants produce oxygen?

In Biochemistry of a sulfuric acid world, I assumed that autotrophs would strip hydrogen from H2SO4 (which is their biosolvent) to fix carbon, just like plants on Earth strip hydrogen from water (...
3 votes
1 answer
55 views

Acidic oceans on geologic timescales?

Lots of biochemical processes are sensitive to pH, and most (all?) organisms maintain close-to-neutral internal pH, except for specific localized excursions for specific purposes (like producing acids ...
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

What is the best ways of cleaning/bathing inside an astronaut suit?

Context: In this sci-fi scenario/story, they don't use an space walk Astronaut suit (because of costs), but a crappier version of an astronaut suit, cheaper and mass produced. Due to the ...
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13 votes
8 answers
4k views

Is it possible to make mortar without lime in a medieval-ish setting?

The world which I am working on is set in the far future on a colonized/terraformed planet that has become reduced to a medieval-like level of technology. It was not previously inhabited by any life, ...
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21 votes
19 answers
3k views

Antiballast for flying ship

Your miners find some strange stones - they float to the ceiling of mines. With those stones you can easily build an airship - just fill a sleek wooden hull with them and give the rowers some wing-...
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4 votes
3 answers
208 views

Are there any glaring problems in my alternate biochemistry?

I have been putting together an alternate biochemistry, one that is suited for an environment with lots of fluorine. I have a "model" of sorts for how it works, and I would like to know if ...
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6 votes
1 answer
171 views

This organism can survive temperatures of 45°C. What's the next overheating-related threat?

This is a sequel to my previous question in this vein, in which I handwaved away some issues related to Bob overheating. As DWKraus pointed out when answering said previous question, cell membranes ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
124 views

Would would an undiscovered element show up as on a light spectrum analysis? [closed]

All elements, when hit by light, reflect it at varying frequencies and by looking at the frequency of the reflected light it is possible to find out the elemental composition of an object, even from ...
3 votes
1 answer
95 views

Organic reactions in alien peat [closed]

So imagine there's a peat composed of a mixture of partially decomposed polypropylene and polyethylene. Another girl and I worked out the reactions for polyethylene and its decomposition byproducts, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
250 views

Any fluorine alternatives to the phosphate chain of ATP?

From what I know, the energy in ATP comes from the phosphate chain, which can be cleaved for energy using water(more specifically the energy comes the from the formation of new molecules upon cleaving ...
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3 votes
6 answers
604 views

Performance of a Modern Carbonic Acid Gun

Air rifles have come a long way. Starting with crude devices that can barely launch a projectile to the Girardoni air rifle to modern examples like the Air Force Texan or the Air Venturi Dragon. ...
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5 votes
4 answers
121 views

Is a highly acidic/base fast-acting glue possible?

A request for the Department of Unconventional Cleansing and Annihilation: The Senatorium has decided that a fast acting glue needs to be created which burns its victims as they are trapped in the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
115 views

Dealing with extreme heat and pressure in an underground colony on Venus

A colony has been constructed by robots for human habitation deep under the surface of Venus. They are totally sealed off from the surface, and the galaxy beyond, and live like a ship in a bottle What ...
7 votes
0 answers
174 views

Altering the muscles of giant creatures to let them stand without collapsing by changing their proteins

One of the problems with scaling up creatures without increasing their proportions is that their muscles won't be strong enough to support their weight due to the square-cube law, which I'm sure you'...
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1 vote
2 answers
240 views

How much resources would be needed to make significant damage with a chemical laser?

Context: It is the future and some sci-fi technologies are starting to be used, such as lasers. More specifically, chemical lasers. The thing is that I want to know about nowadays technologies in ...
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3 votes
1 answer
115 views

Can you make effective poisons/acids/flammables from basic ingredients that would be useful in fighting monsters?

Can you make effective poisons/acids/flammables from basic ingredients that would be useful in fighting monsters? I am writing a story about a MC who goes into Portals to kill monsters (Typical DnD ...
4 votes
2 answers
161 views

biochemistry of a silicon based sulfuric acid planet?

Im thinking about starting a speculative evolution project about this becauze i really like the idea of exotic biochemistry, ive looked at a few other posts and i have the gases that are breathed and ...
5 votes
2 answers
142 views

Superactinide Incorporating Biochemistry

Alright so as it is known, trans-uranic elements are universally unstable. However, in this setting, I'm using forms of quark matter that can imitate the nucleus of transuranic elements at least mass ...
4 votes
5 answers
3k views

If a small marble reached Planck temperature, would the heat spread and ignite the atmosphere? [closed]

It can be set to any temperature at the command of the wielder, be it as high as the Planck temperature or as low as absolute zero. I want to see whether or not it could be used to end the planet it ...
4 votes
1 answer
478 views

My creature's cells mix water and some of the stuff in pee to cool themselves. How does it get that stuff to its cells?

After reevaluating the creature that cools its blood with lye and sal ammoniac, I removed the middleman - the cooling chamber and use of blood as coolant - and replaced the potassium hydroxide/...
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2 votes
2 answers
280 views

Could cells use punch cards instead of DNA? [closed]

DNA molecules are made of nucleotides, these nucleotides have bases which connect A to T, C to G. These connections are made through hydrogen bonding. But what if instead of that, you have a long ...
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3 votes
1 answer
152 views

Are there any alternatives to DNA in a fluorine environment?

In this fluorine life that I have been trying to make, are there any possible alternatives to DNA that could exist in these cells? The Environment: What I have so far is that these cells would exist ...
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18 votes
14 answers
4k views

How should I build an additional periodic table?

Recently, I was going through the magical materials that existed in one of my fantasy settings. It was all going swimmingly, when a thought occurred to me: "You know, I should figure out how ...
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4 votes
1 answer
133 views

Could hypothetical cells use Hydrofluorocarbons(HFCs) as their DNA?

Hydrofluorocarbons consist of long chains of carbon with hydrogen or fluorine attached to them. So you could have chains like: DNA uses patterns of nucleobases A C G T as a “language” to keep their ...
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4 votes
1 answer
94 views

Could Fluorine be used for a cycle like ozone?

Ozone is created when O2 is broken into radicals by high-energy light, the radicals that combine to create ozone, the ozone can then absorb UV light and break apart, converting the Absorbed UV light ...
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3 votes
1 answer
200 views

How do I shield my calcium bio-electromagnet's wiring?

I'm attempting to design a creature whose internal anatomy includes a powerful electromagnet so that it can do things like pulling guns out of people's hands at close range. Like many electromagnets, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
123 views

Are there any alternative solvents to water at -180 Celsius that hypothetical cells could use?

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 ...
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0 votes
3 answers
78 views

How are macro-molecules made in cells? [closed]

In my quest to make fluorine based life, to main roadblock is my confusion on how macromolecules are made. Take phospholipids for example, it confuses me how cells can just stick a phosphate to a ...
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2 votes
2 answers
126 views

What percentage of saline does water need to be to become hazardous to skin?

I've not gotten many results for this and I've looked up all about chemical lakes like Lake Natron but they seem to be filled with other hazardous substances besides plain sodium chloride. I'm just ...
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3 votes
4 answers
109 views

Battling with a sulfur-based Djinn [closed]

Finishing a story which tangentially features a Djinn who is quickly / easily dispatched by a scientist through a feat of chemistry wizardry. If one were trying to neutralize a sulfur-based entity, do ...
5 votes
2 answers
109 views

Would Chlorosian photosynthesizers produce chlorine or oxygen?

Chloros is a world with a huge amount of sulfur. Because sulfates displace halogens in alkali metal salts, fluorine and chlorine in Chloros aren't all locked up in rocks; instead, the oceans are a ...
4 votes
1 answer
91 views

Life on a Moon-like Earth?

Aside from being smaller, the Moon has a distinctly different bulk composition from Earth--its mantle is proportionately much larger, and its core is proportionately much smaller. Suppose that Earth ...
2 votes
3 answers
101 views

What should engineered organisms do with excess fluorine?

PFAS (PolyFluorinated Alkyl Substances) are popularly known as "forever chemicals", because they are extremely inert and, being entirely artificial, no natural organism eats them--so, they ...
2 votes
2 answers
165 views

Could hypothetical cells use liquid Carbon Tetrafluoride as an alternative solvent to water?

Setting aside how this might evolve or come to be, could a cell use liquid carbon tetrafluoride(CF4 becomes liquid below -130 Celcius) as a solvent instead of water? Assume that the cells work ...
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2 votes
4 answers
168 views

How could hypothetical Fluoride-based cells synthesize methane?

For a thing, I am trying to make a detailed model for fluorine based life, starting with the cell. As an alternative to ATP energy, I have chosen the reaction CH4+(4)F2 ==> CF4+(4)HF, I just can't ...
  • 1,010
2 votes
2 answers
582 views

My creature mixes lye and sal ammoniac to cool its blood. How cold can its blood get before it stops working as blood?

Background information: According to various sources, the human heart pumps 5 liters of blood/minute at rest and 15-20 liters of blood/minute during running or exercise, 6,000 to 7,500 liters of ...
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5 votes
7 answers
1k views

Storing bulk metals for centuries

If you are building a megastructure like a Banks Orbital, it will be necessary/useful to provide it with reserves of various useful metals for the use of the civilization inhabiting the structure. ...
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3 votes
4 answers
97 views

Oxidized alkaline planets?

Obviously, it is possible to have a planet with an oxidizing and acidic surface environment--just look at Venus! But is there a plausible natural way to get a planet with an oxidizing but alkaline ...
2 votes
1 answer
104 views

How does my symbiotic fungus silicify its own cell walls to armor its host's bones?

Fungi have cell walls which - unlike those of plants, which are made out of cellulose, xylan, and lignin - are instead made out of chitin, glucan, and mannans. A fungus I'm planning on writing about ...
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5 votes
3 answers
219 views

What chemicals would an atmosphere unbreathable by humans (yet allowing alien life to thrive) contain?

(first question, hi!) At the moment, I am trying to bring a planet which contains an atmosphere that can barely be breathed by humans (14% oxygen to be precise), to life. This planet is abundant with ...
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2 votes
1 answer
94 views

silicon based chemosynthesis?

How could chemo-synthesis work with silicon based life? I'm making a project with silicon based aliens,they breathe fluorine instead of oxygen and they breathe out both hydrogen fluoride and silicon ...

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