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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6
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3answers
1k views

Would a pool of petroleum explode if lit on fire?

A large pool of crude oil 60 feet in diameter and about 10 feet deep. It sits atop a 100ft. tall stone pillar with a 5ft radius hole that leads down into the earth. If the oil on top is exposed to a ...
8
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2answers
177 views

Could adding more phosphate groups to high energy molecules such as ATP meaningfully increase the amount of energy they carry? [closed]

I'm determining some of the biochemistry for some artificial organisms created for various commercial tasks, from industrial to military use. I'm trying to figure out if augmenting the energy ...
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4answers
1k views

Setting up a bonfire in a methane rich atmosphere: is it possible?

I am trying to describe the exploration of an hypothetical planet with a hydrocarbon rich atmosphere. Atmospheric pressure is around 1 bar, temperature around 10-20 Celsius, the main component of the ...
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1answer
64 views

Twin worlds governed by nitrogen

https://www.space.com/amp/we-dont-understand-exoplanet-habitable-zones In the link above is an article about how atmospheric nitrogen could affect habitability of a planet. Examples given are a wet ...
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1answer
181 views

Is it possible to have a cold flame?

Imagine I have this make-believe psionic microbe-or-something that feeds off of the heat energy from combustion. And let's say that this new fire radiates cold instead of hot. The big problem with ...
2
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3answers
107 views

Damage estimate for a large acetylene explosion

In a laboratory in a university building, a gas tap is accidentally opened at the end of the working day. The gas tap is connected to a bank of large acetylene cylinders. The gas tap is ejecting 0....
4
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2answers
165 views

Could Uranus have a solid surface due to its internal composition and lack of internal heat?

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It is classified as an Ice Giant, which, unlike a Gas Giant, such as Jupiter or Saturn, is composed mainly of elements heavier than Hydrogen or Helium. ...
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8answers
437 views

What is the most powerful, plausible breath a dragon could have?

I am working on a dragon project, and have solved how my dragon makes each breath, but I would like to know the most powerful possible breath, and how the dragon might make it, (fire breath, ice/cold ...
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1answer
71 views

Defining what is possible with magic that manipulates the elements

I'm currently trying to refine my magic system which is able to manipulate the elements using the body's natural energy. As examples: I can create water out of the air by coalescing available ...
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1answer
56 views

How could hydrogen in a vacuum be removed/extracted?

What reactions or process could remove hydrogen from the vacuum without compromising it, then from there a way that animals could do it, the vacuum is in a rigid space, but hydrogen still seeps ...
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0answers
58 views

What should an inactive planet's topology be for nutrient circulation?

I'm trying to engineer an Earth mass planet built initially out of pure silicon dioxide (silica). So basically, imagine a glass sphere slightly larger than Earth somewhere in the Goldilocks zone, ...
4
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1answer
197 views

how could a creature have a vacuum chamber inside its body

i want to know how an animal could have a vacuum inside itself (in an organ), survive, and also for it to be stable, what materials could be used to contain it, and how could it be implemented without ...
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3answers
200 views

On an established Mars colony, what would be the best ways to produce oxygen aside from using water?

Let's say there's a viable city of 150,000 people on Mars, the colony has been around for 50 years or more. Private corporations have funded most of it and they have a large presence on planet. I know ...
3
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3answers
131 views

Alternative Pre-Modern Rocket Fuel to Gunpowder: Can you make a naphtha rocket?

In a pre-17th century world without gunpowder, can rockets still be developed? Could you perhaps make a naphtha rocket? RP1 is made from highly refined kerosene, which has been about since at least ...
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2answers
72 views

How can an organosilcon lifeform break down silicates

I have a few organosilicon characters, and I like to know how things work. Some of these types of creatures make shells, but others just reinforce their organic flesh with the silicon. According to my ...
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5answers
194 views

What would cause creatures on a planet to favor large sizes over small sizes?

On Earth, there are far more insects by biomass than any other creature type. Not only that, but they constitute a wider variety of species too. As a result, they also evolve interesting mechanisms ...
2
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2answers
98 views

What kind of atmosphere is needed for large floating organisms?

Assume you have an identical Earth-clone planet, what kind of atmosphere is required to have floating organisms? What I define as a large floating organism is something about the size of a bat, but ...
6
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2answers
350 views

Would it be possible for a self healing castle to work/function with the “healing” bacteria used in concrete roads?

This idea is mainly based around the self-healing concrete idea that has appeared in the past and scientific posts have been made about the self healing concrete using bacteria to self heal cracks. ...
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2answers
238 views

If all life on Earth was exterminated, how long would oxygen remain in the atmosphere?

There are numerous other question on this site about "If oxygen production stopped...?" but all of them appear to still have humans around. This question is different. In my scenario, we ...
4
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1answer
165 views

Is it possible to determine the colour of a molecule?

Is there a way to determine the colour and appearance of a large biomolecule? If no one had seen chlorophyll, simply knew of its existence, would you, from its formula, be able to determine that it ...
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5answers
442 views

What single or two materials are suitable to fit inside of a glass bullet to make it explode on impact?

In the world my friend and I are making, the different races throughout the planet have decided to work on advancing the development of Airgun technology. The main reason for this was that once ...
5
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3answers
109 views

How can an individual's skin be affected by the brewing of potions?

potion brewing is a subsect of witchcraft with roots as far back as ancient times. These potions are made to serve various purposes in different fields. Curing illness, making an individual fall in ...
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3answers
187 views

I want my main character to start a Chemical warfare

So. Character from our world goes to Fantasy version of medieval or even Ancient Greece/Rome world. He want to use Chemical warfare to get ahead. Can he produce any kind of deadly gas? If so how. Can ...
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2answers
264 views

In a fantasy setting with 15th century metallurgy, what metals could have been refined that were not discovered in our own medieval period?

For the fantasy setting I'm working on, for a roleplaying game system, civilizations have stagnated into a 15th century technology and metallurgy level with some deviations to make for more ...
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2answers
107 views

Reality check: A fire in a giant cave with two entrances. Where do the byproducts go?

There is an underground city in a multi-level cave with two entrances; it is otherwise enclosed. It's shaped more or less like an inverted pyramid, getting narrower with increasing depth. A fire ...
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6answers
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Using brine as construction material for an ocean floating town

Am trying to build a floating town with a starting resident population of about 3000 inhabitants. The setting: Around the end of the XXII century. The town 'Pioneering Pinnacle' is floating in the ...
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4answers
1k views

What is a material that might be missing on a planet that the inhabitants of said planet need to go pick up on a gas giant nearby?

I have this Earth-like planet that is running short on materials, like minerals and gasses, and they have a big spaceship that is able to gather materials from a gas giant that orbits the same star ...
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4answers
200 views

Are dead tissues easier to preserve for extended period of time compared to living organisms?

When I asked about food preservation for 2-3 centuries, some commenters insisted that if I have technologies to preserve living humans for that long I should have no problems preserving food (with ...
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25answers
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With what liquid should I fill my dead, intraversable seas?

My planet has interesting geography; there are large islands, each with a unique civilisation of people. But separating them are impassible barriers; they consist of a double range of tall, steep ...
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2answers
100 views

Consequences of magic allowing biochemistry to happen at range

I have a mage who's trying to connect his "life force" to another person's in order to magically heal them. Mechanically, this happens by the mage allowing his patient's body's biomolecules ...
4
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3answers
129 views

A way to measure the complexity of a material/substance?

I'm trying to create a magic system through which a person has to understand a material/substance so they can locate it around them, and eventually manipulate it in other ways. I tried something like ...
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1answer
146 views

(Survival-Type Situation) How can I Craft a Powerful Sedative From Easy To Find/Gather Materials, Assuming No Meds in Clinics or Hospitals?

I have a character that finds himself in a decent-sized town that has already been ransacked, what can I use to craft sedatives that would be effective on both Zombies, (assuming their anatomy ...
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6answers
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What elements are useful for humans, but rare in our galaxy?

I know for example there is an interesting gap in the amount of lithium, beryllium and boron compared to Helium and Carbon, but I don't know how useful they are. Here is a graph showing relative ...
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4answers
181 views

Minimum tech for agricultural desalination

I'm trying to figure out a realistic setting that depends heavily on desalinating sea water for desert agriculture. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out exactly how early in the tech tree, this can ...
4
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2answers
295 views

Is a rain of alcohol possible?

For a story I am planning, I'd like to have some planets with unusual atmospheric phenomena. One of the ideas I have are alcohol rains. I know that Titan has methane clouds and methane rain. Would it ...
3
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1answer
62 views

Potential atmospheric compositions given a temperature range?

I'm generating a planetary classification system for a sci-fi universe. Right now I'm basing part of it off of Sudarsky's theoretical classification of gas giants (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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2answers
153 views

Generic hypergolic components for a carnivore?

Related: What are the scientific issues with this method of dragons breathing fire? Could dragons theoretically breathe alcohol based fire? Can a dragon's fire breath be liquid based? Recreating ...
4
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4answers
288 views

Manufacturing recreational drugs in the post-apocalypse?

So, it’s the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Life is tough, and the daily struggle for water, food, and medicine is taxing on its inhabitants. People want to escape the wasteland. In the wastes, there is ...
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2answers
108 views

The Sparagmos is a WMD that uses nanites to eat other nanites. Would it be effective as described?

So, in this world, nanites can be best described as COVID-19 on steroids, though they can do other stuff, like disable bio-weapons and enhance crop yield. Some nanomachines can be designed to be as ...
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11answers
4k views

A two-thresholds poison: how does it work?

The saying goes "in dose venenum", meaning that it's the dose to make the poison. This comes from the consideration that any substance, after a certain dose, becomes lethal. However, past ...
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5answers
2k views

Back in time to year 0: how do I produce acetone?

I'm stuck back in time, in the year zero, and lost in India; I need acetone, but how do I produce it? Also, I must avoid contact with people for safety reasons, so I'm living alone.
3
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2answers
117 views

What is the potential of generating the four fundamental forces?

To specify, one person cannot generate multiple forces and are born with only the ability to generate one of them. They cannot generate enough of any force that it could cause widespread mayhem, as I ...
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5answers
743 views

Discovery of advanced titanium alloys by medieval civilization?

Within the backstory of my world, I’m trying to justify the preeminence of a smaller nation as a result of its abilities with metalworking. We’re working under the assumption that this nation happens ...
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24answers
8k views

How to cool a room without a place to dump the heat

I've got a post-climate change world where summer temperatures make most of the planet uninhabitable, and the vast majority of the population lives in tightly-packed apartments either in buildings or ...
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12answers
923 views

What chemical reaction to interfere to negate firearms?

Imagine a magic spell could allow to negate the firearms we know (edited) AND USE TODAY: what would be the one chemical process that operating in all of them needs to be blocked? If not, what would ...
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4answers
216 views

Water mimicry : ability to turn into liquid

I want a creature capable of going from a solid structure capable of walking to a liquid or slimy substance clear as water or ocean blue. How can this be accomplished?
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2answers
147 views

Is Oxygen necessary for the Sulfur Cycle?

I know that part of the Sulfur cycle requires elemental Sulfur to be oxidized. Every example I've found uses Oxygen and becomes some combination such as Sulfur Trioxide or Disulfur Trioxide. If other ...
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3answers
2k views

Where could you obtain neon/argon in 1931 Las Vegas?

First question ever asked, so apologies if I've done this incorrectly! My current predicament: characters in 1931 Las Vegas are looking to get their hands on some neon/argon (for use in neon signs). ...
7
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1answer
118 views

Greenhouse Effect Strength- Ammonia World

I've been working on designing how an ammonia-ocean world might work and I've settled basically everything except one. I cannot for the life of me find any sources that actually provide a decent way ...
3
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4answers
133 views

How would someone actively search for titanium ores or other minerals?

I'm working on a story where the main character has to search for titanium (or rather ores containing titanium) in order to repair the hull of a ship. She's on a habitable world that's essentially a ...

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