Questions tagged [chemistry]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
9 votes
11 answers
3k views

How easily could a pre-scientific people purify a substance and hence grow a pure crystal?

Consider a pre-scientific human civilisation. They have some alchemy nonsense, and are used to experimenting with boiling, filtration, etc, but do not have an atomic theory, or a mechanistic view of ...
spraff's user avatar
  • 2,239
4 votes
5 answers
2k views

How would fire behave in an oxygenless atmosphere with a significant percentage of chlorine?

I’m mostly interested in chlorine since (as far as I understand) it’s the most viable, but I’m open to others as well (if it’s worth it). I’ve been working with a sort of “worldbuilding challenge” on-...
Octopodes's user avatar
  • 301
1 vote
1 answer
255 views

Acetylene Manufacture: How would Mermaids do it?

Acetylene is useful for making fire underwater. This might be used for cooking, or so you have a way to start a fire right after coming out of the water, or for some underwater welding. Or, maybe even ...
ArchduchessFerdinand's user avatar
-3 votes
2 answers
433 views

Can acids that do not explode exist? [closed]

Acid in the real world from what I've seen is either very slow or pretty much just liquid dynamite. Is this a rule or can I have an acid that can melt things very fast without releasing so much heat ...
Xenophile's user avatar
  • 1,006
5 votes
1 answer
158 views

Burning Steel as Firewood

On Planet FeC, residents commonly burn naturally occurring steel ingots as what we would call firewood. As with actual firewood on Earth, these ingots vary in fireworthiness: a large, "green"...
Ray Woodcock's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
135 views

Readily available MIR refracting material

I am looking for a material that could serve to do the following: build a 5m x 5m wall that looks pretty normal (not necessarily during construction) but has the ability to transmit and refract MIR, ...
bukwyrm's user avatar
  • 5,859
9 votes
3 answers
357 views

Can a vampire carbonate serum to make blood soda?

I have a vampire. Said vampire would like a drink. But they're bored of their wine and their raw blood, and they'd like to try something more processed. You only die once, after all. Now, blood doesn'...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
1 vote
1 answer
165 views

Is silicon-based blood possible?

I'm building a project featuring several very exotic alien worlds, one of which I had a question about the blood of aliens since the amount of Metals like iron are scarce, so I opted for something ...
M. S. Cancris 's user avatar
13 votes
6 answers
3k views

Possibility of anachronistic fossils due to time travel

In my story, I have a character who travels back in time to Africa just after the Youngest Toba supereruption, about 74,000 years ago in order to collect genetic samples from the human survivors at ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 60.3k
-2 votes
1 answer
114 views

How do you make a metallic bonded compound stay liquid? Necessary for flying vehicles [closed]

I have a fuel that has a lot of metallic bonds but I need it as a liquid to be used in engines. Otherwise I have to figure out how to use a solid fuel in the air non-rocket style. It reacts with water ...
Sage Grant's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
301 views

Can magnetic fields be used to either strengthen or weaken chemical bonds? [closed]

My understanding is that magnetic fields compress atoms slightly. Could this conceivably be used in combination with certain substances with very specific properties to strengthen them in the presence ...
Shade's user avatar
  • 39
-1 votes
2 answers
231 views

What is the stability of this compound? I'm not a chemist

I want to make a McGuffin of sorts, a compound called BAP. Its slang as fuel. It's composition is BiAtPu. Would I need to add elements to make it stable? (If I can't make it stable, I'll need to not ...
Sage Grant's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
390 views

Possible reactions for Artillery Plants?

I am looking for a chemical reaction which can generate a lot of Gas in a short period of time, on the order of seconds, to build up pressure and allow a plant to propel a seed like projectile. The ...
ErikHall's user avatar
  • 2,456
-2 votes
3 answers
321 views

How to create three new chemical elements? [closed]

I'm trying to create a universe with 3 new chemical elements. I want them to be as realistic as possible but I'm not a chemist, so I need some help. I need to create: A gold coloured element Three ...
Wonda's user avatar
  • 7
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is this ocean-planet stable?

I'm building a cold, water-based ocean-planet for my current setting, its temperature being below 0°c at all times and in all of its regions. Even despite the freezing temperatures, the planet's ...
NimRad's user avatar
  • 1,120
6 votes
5 answers
4k views

Artificially-created diamond 'windows' for spacecraft

In the past I've entertained the notion of space stations and spaceships having window panes or transparent viewing surfaces made from laboratory-created diamonds, but a recent answer to a different ...
king of panes's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

All arsenic not in the ground is magically removed. What effect would that have?

The land of Koyokuni has been depopulated of people and their domesticated animals for many years, and had been sown with ergot spores, venomous insects, large, aggressive venomous birds and even ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 60.3k
3 votes
1 answer
238 views

The miraculous substance of carrangan: can it exist, and what does it change about its planet of origin?

First, this account is a replacement for my old one, Jobah_HigherMind, because I forgot the password after being inactive for four months. But I’m moving away from Algennon questions, at least for now,...
Jobah619's user avatar
  • 117
2 votes
4 answers
235 views

Which hypergolic compounds are best suited for dragon fire?

I'm looking for input from chemists, biochemists, and those familiar with rocket fuel propellants. I'm a fantasy world builder, but that doesn't mean everything in my fantasy world is excluded from ...
HikingStick's user avatar
11 votes
7 answers
4k views

How Do I Contain Hydrogen Gas With Pre-Modern Technology?

I finally figured out how my alchemy system works. The problem is, when my characters perform alchemy, they release loads of hydrogen gas. Why? Well, basically, they will take an object and cause ...
skout's user avatar
  • 2,068
3 votes
2 answers
155 views

Fire Analogue on Hydrogen Methane atmosphere Planet

Okay to summarize I have a planet with an approximate atmosphere of 44% nitrogen gas, 30% hydrogen gas, 23% methane and 3% other trace gases. I am working on an intelligent alien race on this planet ...
Venik Hue's user avatar
  • 1,222
24 votes
11 answers
8k views

All this salt, and it's useless! Why?

Once upon time, there was a shallow inland sea, leftover meltwater from a previous ice age trapped because of nearby mountain ranges. The arid climate with almost no rain and weak flow to and from the ...
Juicy Grey Goo's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
99 views

How does this microbe recognize specific chemical patterns?

This species of bacteria is electroreceptive, and when it receives an input pattern of electric spikes, it can “translate” that input pattern into a pattern of chemical signals internally via its ...
inkwell87's user avatar
  • 939
3 votes
5 answers
596 views

What would the consequences of abusing my fictional drug be? [closed]

In this world there exists a potent psychogenic drug named Soma(lifted from Brave New World because I like the name and vibe). The effects of the drug are thus. In small doses the drug ‘softens’ the ...
Demiurge777's user avatar
11 votes
8 answers
2k views

A Chemical Formula for a fictional Room Temperature Superconductor

I am working on a Hard Sci-Fi novel. In this novel Humanity has set up a drilling operation on the fictional exoplanet Hela. They are drilling for Trivesene, which is an Oil like viscus organic ...
ErikHall's user avatar
  • 2,456
-5 votes
1 answer
140 views

How can a plant have pure graphite cell walls instead of cellulose?

So like, how could a plant extract carbon out of other organic molecules and make their cell walls out of graphite instead of cellulose?
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
166 views

How could a remote controlled bacterium work?

How could a radiowave controlled remote-controlled bacterium be possible? Criteria: The receiver for the radiowaves would not be bigger than the bacterium (which is the size of a cyanobacterium) The ...
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
208 views

Can cells and other materials be controlled electromagnetically

I'm trying to make a creature with a specialized organ that can be controlled telekinetically with cellular precision. Basically the creature would have a specialized organ connected to the brain that ...
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
489 views

Can just heat be used to power ATP production?

I want to have some lifeforms that live around and in hot environments and absorb the heat around them to produce ATP without using any other energy sources. Is this possible? How can this be done? ...
GrimmReaper18B's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
2k views

Reductive instead of oxidative based metabolism

Is it possible to have a cellular metabolism based on reduction instead of oxidation? All known life currently uses some sort of oxidation in cellular respiration, either from oxygen or from oxidizing ...
user118161's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
275 views

What would be the fastest way to generate heat energy for damage?

For a suit of armour to deal damage via the hands/palms/claws primarily as an antihero/vigilante gimmick. Now thinking around ~2000°C (3632°F) (Containment is another question) but I need it hot ...
crane j.'s user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
195 views

On a planet whose waters are super rich in iron, could life forms use the iron as a basis for their skeletons?

One of my planets has surface waters that are incredibly rich in oxidized iron, and I was intrigued by the possibility of alternate materials for bones when I came across Stephen Gillett's Clorox ...
Massi's user avatar
  • 41
6 votes
1 answer
270 views

How would an animal produce oil that creates a purple flame when burned?

In a short story I'm writing, a non-tropical island nation has an economy centered around selling an oil made from a particular animal. The oil is special because it produces a light purple flame when ...
lost_not_found's user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
162 views

What atmospheric conditions would prevent sound from traveling more than a short distance?

My story has an alien planet with an oxygen-based atmosphere about twice as dense as Earth’s. When on the planet, sound attenuation is much more rapid, so much that any noise more than fifty feet away ...
Mark Price's user avatar
  • 2,358
2 votes
2 answers
118 views

How would ammonia affect an otherwise breathable atmosphere? [duplicate]

I'm looking into an otherwise breathable but dense Nitrogen/Oxygen atmosphere, that happens to have 0.5-1% Ammonia in it - it roughly comes out to around 0.02 atm for Partial Pressure in total. For ...
Rexotec's user avatar
  • 391
12 votes
11 answers
5k views

Why would humans carry around live plants in a post-apocalyptic world?

A while ago I saw this brilliant 3d render of a post-apocalyptic world in which a human carries around a live plant in a capsule, connected to the plant via a respirator: (credit: Stephen Grimm via ...
zinfandel's user avatar
  • 229
8 votes
8 answers
2k views

How would civilization differ if silicate glass wasn't so useful? [closed]

(This is a "hard sci-fi" chemistry question.) Silicate glass is malleable when hot, stiff at human-compatible temperatures, transparent, and chemically inert. It's cheap and easy to make, ...
Foo Bar's user avatar
  • 488
2 votes
4 answers
2k views

Alternate Bullet Propellants [closed]

For my world, I want there to be many types of ammunition due to the world being an apocalyptic-anarchy kinda thing. Mostly land combat, little to no spacecrafts or vehicles. Anyone know any good ones?...
Mace19's user avatar
  • 45
2 votes
3 answers
301 views

What are most hydrogen-dense materials that a pre-electric civilization could produce? [closed]

Context My world has an 'unobtanium' strategic resource that is an alternate form of hydrogen. When atoms of this hydrogen is embedded in a rotor, they generate a field force that pushes against the ...
SkroobForPresident's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
345 views

How would a venom that melts organic substances work?

I'm having trouble finding out how this venom would work with one of my dragon characters. The venom is sprayed out of 2 long front fangs- like a snake, and the venom is acidic and melts through any ...
ThatDragonFuryy's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
113 views

What's stopping other rock layers from creating a karst-like landscape?

Context I've reread a part of a book about geochemistry and it reminded me that just about any element can dissolve in water if the pH is right. Later an examples of aluminium or iron dissolving en ...
Yulian's user avatar
  • 462
-1 votes
2 answers
253 views

Could fire use chemicals other than oxygen as fuel?

Could "fire" exist on a planet that has no oxygen in its atmosphere? If it was using some other chemical as fuel, how would that effect its physical properties, color/appearance, temperature,...
SaturnianThunderDragon's user avatar
-5 votes
1 answer
123 views

Can you use plants as substitute for missing metals/elements?

Say a person stranded in time, somewhere in a forest wants to make brass. He has copper, but not zinc, so he tosses a bunch of zinc-rich beans and nuts in the smelting pot with copper and prays to god ...
Khaos321999's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
117 views

Plausibility of a planetary ocean containing both $H_2O$ and a form of potassium?

To give a bit of context, I'm trying to tackle a challenge I set out for myself in writing up a speculative biosphere wherein complex land life emerges, without the advent of photosynthesis at all. As ...
Craig Morrison's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
966 views

Turning possible a gigantic rock in the sky (sci-fi and magic)

Ok, we have magic to solve all my problems but I want to find if I can solve this "the most cientific possible". I have a world that turns out to be the earth but in a post-apocalyptic ...
RyukeiMidori's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
217 views

planet atmospheric composition

I am been making an alien planet for my xenobiology project, this planet would have an atmospheric pressure of 1.5 atm and it would be composed of the following gases: Nitrogen: 83.7% Oxygen: 10.4% ...
Alpha centauri's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
182 views

Would Liquid CO2 form a Separate Layer Beneath the Ocean?

In the series of stories that I'm writing, I have a star system with one of its outer planets being a world with a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, similar to venus, but it's far enough out to be room ...
John Lewis's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
209 views

Could a planet have oceans of heavy water? [duplicate]

Heavy water, or deuterium oxide, is a form of water where the hydrogen atoms contain a proton and a neutron, rather than just a proton as in “normal water”. It is toxic to earth life but luckily, on ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,593
13 votes
9 answers
1k views

How hard is it to ruin the Earth permanently?

Your average Invading Alien Species shows up and plans to invade Earth. They are Default Dumb Movie Aliens and don't have nanotech, AI, space habitats, diplomatic abilities, self-replicating factories,...
TheDyingOfLight's user avatar
21 votes
14 answers
8k views

If humans had no access to gunpowder, what else would they use to power guns?

In my setting there's a lack of sulfur, simply put. Don't ask for the specifications, just assume that whatever amount there is, it is likely better off used in dietary supplements for the shortage of ...
Quinn's user avatar
  • 1,206

1
2 3 4 5
14