Plasma/potential earth like equivalents

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Note from senior projects administrator Platos

So, for several years, NT has been doing this "plasma research" shit. However, apparently, NT only hired pyromaniacs and terrorists to work with plasma. As such, the identity of plasma is still a mystery, despite my repeated pleas for further funding and a crew that doesn't resemble a prison station full of homicidal maniacs

Despite it's potentially useful properties, harvesting it is volatile and dangerous and the costs involved are enormous, follows is excerpts of reading notes from researcher Dr Pybro that indicate potential earth compounds that could be considered for use where plasma is in use.

It would be worth NT's time to investigate fabricating and developing these compounds and investigating their properties to see if they can replicate plasma's energy efficiency and ability to harness power from the singularity

Analysis: Identity of Plasma and earth equivalents

Now, when a hydrocarbon burns, it produces CO2, and H2O. Burning Plasma produces ONLY CO2. Thus, Plasma resembles a hydrocarbon. It could be composed ONLY of Hydrogen, and Carbon. Now, it MAY also contain oxygen, but that is variable. Given that we don't actually have water as a gas in SS13, you can just ignore the part about the water. One thing about hydrocarbons, is that they are usually gases, then around hexane, turn to volatile liquids. Plasma, is very fucking volatile (Ever spill a beaker of it? Take my advice: Don't.)

Now, for the number crunching and data.

From here on in, a CANISTER refers to to the large, colored gas containers that you fill TANKS in. A CANISTER needs to be pulled, a TANK can be held in your hand.

A full canister of plasma has an internal pressure of 4559.6 kPa. Said full canister of plasma was released in a 6x6 room, built in space. This room was entirely devoid of air, and had a temperature of 0 Celsius (270 Kelvin). A gas analyzer was used to measure the pressure in this 6x6 room. It was 20.4 kPa, and the temperature was 19C (289K).

NOW, HERE IS THE VARIABLE PART: researchers agreed upon that our test samples had a volume of 1.6 m3. HOWEVER a competing group indicated they thought a single test cell was 2.5m3. Ultimately, using the 2.5 m³ tile messes things up, getting us into a situation where we end up with half a carbon, and, yeah. For the sake of completion, I'll post the math for both.

First, the 1.6 m³:

Using the Ideal Gas Formula (PV=nrt), we can calculate the number of moles of plasma in our test cannister, via some algebra fandangling. PV=nrt/rt = (PV)/(rt)=n. Pressure times volume DIVIDED BY gas constant times temperature equals moles.

1.6 m³ = 4.096. 6x6 = 36. 4.096 x 36 = 147.456. 1 m³ = 1000 l. 147.456 x 1000 = 147,456 l.

(20.4 kPa)(147,456 l) / (8.314 kPa/l/K/mol)(292 K) = 3008102.4 / 2402.746 = 1251.95 mol plasma.

NOW FOR THE 2.5 m³:

2.5³ = 15.625 x 36 = 562.5 x 1000 = 562,500 l

Plugging the 562,500 l into the equation and replacing the 147,456 l with it gives us 4726.8 mol of plasma.

This is quite a difference.

((((I also did this for oxygen, but ultimately that data is not needed for this, so yeah)))))


A full tank of plasma, which contains either 4774.80 mol or 1251.95 mol of plasma at 4559.6 kPa, was pumped into the incinerator burn chamber. An excess of oxygen was then pumped in, and the whole mix was ignited. After it cooled, our brave atmos tech scientist entered. Some time was taken to let the mixture spread throughout the 10 tile area. The area was then scanned.

375.35 kPa, at 97.4 °C (370.4K). THIS WAS DONE ON ASTEROIDSTATION (administrator note: this is our research station in the Hurl sector) HOWEVER, and on Asteroid, the incinerator burn chamber is not empty! CO2 53 %, O2 36 %, N2 9 %.

375.35 x 0.53 = 198.935 kPa.

Go CO2 woohooo

Now let's see how much CO2 a single canister of plasma can make. 156,250 l for the volume of the 2.5 m³.

10 x 4.096 x 1000 = 40,960 l

10 x 15.625 x 1000 = 156,250 l

(198.935)(40,960 l) / (8.314)(370.4) = 2,646 mol CO2.

(198.935)(156,250 l) / (8.314)(370.4) = 10,093.696 mol CO2.


Now then, because moles are hilarious little units, if we have 591.17 mol of CO2, we also have 591.17 mole of C.

591.13 mol / (1 molC / 1 molCO2) = 591.13. Don't believe me? 591.13 mol / 1 molCO2 x 46 = 27,192 g. The molecular weights of Carbon and CO2 are 14 and 46 respectively. The percent by mass of carbon in CO2 is 14 / 46 = 0.3043 x 100 = 30.43 %. 27,192 x 0.3043 = 8274.52 g carbon. 8274.52 g carbon / 14 gC x 1 molC = 591.13 molC. Fucking math, how does it work. The same applies for the 2.5 m³ one. So it's 2232 mol Carbon if a tile is 2.5 m³.

What the fuck is CO2

Now, That means that 1251.94 molPlasma + ??? molO2 ----> ??? molH2O + 2,656 molCO2. But because we did the above, we can basically summarize that there are potentially 2,646 mol of carbon equivalents in 1251.94 mol of Plasma.

Pure hydrocarbon chains exhibit a funny property. By taking the amount of CO2 produced (and thus, carbon), and dividing it by the moles of hydrocarbon you burnt to get said CO2 (and assuming you have 100 % total combustion, no carbon monoxide produced), you can find out how many carbons are in a single mole of the Hydrocarbon!

Thus, the burning of Hexane is:

C6H14 + (19/2)O2 ---> 6CO2 + 7H20


12C6H14 + blah --> 72CO2 + blah

72 / 12 = 6 !


2656 / 1251.95 If we divide the two, we get 2.11, meaning that for every 1 mole of plasma, we have 2.11 moles of carbon!

And if we use the 2.5 m³, we end up with 10,093 / 4995 = 2.02! Told you it didn't matter.

Now, this is all theoretical, and calculations, and I've rounded a lot of the decimals (I ain't working with 24.858849389200102299383838392929292 due to spessmens, 2.858 will suffice), we can thus say, that there are TWO CARBONS IN A PLASMA EQUIVALENT MOLECULE. Plus, y'know, you can't have .11, or .02, of a molecule. Shit just ain't possible.

Which means that a plasma equivalent compound has a structure that looks something like:

C-C,,,,C=C, or C≡C

With three, two, and one bonding site on each carbon, respectively.

A rant about isotopes

But...Then plasma is just equivalent to a regular derivative of ethane, ethene, or ethyne! "what the fuck pybro you're such a fucking asshole you waste my very precious ten minutes!". Hold up there! Yes, it's just regular ethene, ethane, IF YOU USE 1H, AKA Protium, AKA "Normal hydrogen" AKA "A single proton with an electron buzzing around it". Atoms are composed of protons (positive), electrons (negative), and neutrons (neutral). Isotopes are atoms that have a "deviant" number of neutrons. This messes shit up, and gives isotopes different properties than the "normal" element. Generally (although there are exceptions!), the "normal" isotope has as many neutrons as it does protons. Protium AKA "normal" hydrogen, is one such exception.

Hyrogen has two isotopes. One, Deuterium, which is stable, and forms Deuterium Oxide (D2O), AKA "Heavy Water" (heavy water icecubes don't float on top of liquid water or heavy water, fun fact). Deuterium is a proton, a neutron, and an electron. There is also, TRITIUM, which is two neutrons, a proton, an electron. Tritium is also radioactive. On earth, Tritium is rare. In spess however, it's rather common (the source of tritium on earth is normal hydrogen getting hit by COSMIC RAYS). Tritium is also very toxic.

Hydrogens isotopes are very special, in that they get their own letters! Protium is H, Deuterium is D, and Tritium is T.

I propose that the hydrogens in plasma are actually Tritium. This raises the molecular mass up to the point where you could have a beaker of it as a liquid, but upon spilling it, get a gas. Tritium is toxic, but only when you actually get it in you, despite the fact that it's radioactive, the radiation from it is not strong enough to break your skin, although it might give you skin cancer, but your guts will be fine.

Thus, we know the following:

  • Plasma is equivalent is a two carbon compound, and the only two other elements that are/could be in it are hydrogen and oxygen.
  • Plasma is a volatile liquid.
  • Plasma can be a liquid, gas, and solid at room temperature.
  • Plasma is highly toxic when inhaled, drank, and injected, but is fairly harmless (in the short term) when your skin touches it. Unless, y'know, you get set on fire.
  • Plasma burns readily in the presence of oxygen, both when a liquid and a gas.
  • When mixed with nitrogen and hydrogen, it produces lexorin, which basically shuts down cellular respiration. While not as potent as raw cyanide, lexorin is most certainly a brand name of some nitrile compound that NanoTrasen has a trademark on and sells as a paint thinner or something. BUT! Cyanide/Nitrile is basically a carbon and a nitrogen triple bonded together, and lexorin is made by adding plasma, nitrogen, and hydrogen.

Thus, I propose that a Plasma equivalent compound with earth chemistry looks something like this:

Essentially, Tritiated Ethanol. It's volatile, burns very easily, the Alcohol group at the right (Tritahol?) provides it with enough mass and hydrogen bonding (tritium bonding?) to keep it stable as a liquid, yet is still volatile, and is incredibly bad to drink.

This also indicates some very interesting basic properties

One the equivalent compound is a radioactive element, yes, but the halflife of Tritium is 12.3 YEARS. It is very fucking toxic, and is a great catalyst/solvent. It's not very toxic ON CONTACT, for short periods. But upon ingestion, it basically fucks your whole body up. The biochemistry of this is that your body uses the tritium/tritium oxide to replace your normal protium. Now, Deuterium in large quantities fucks you up because it's heavier than protium, and as such, has interesting effects on your body (and by interesting I mean "bad/deadly"). Now let's make it even heavier, and radioactive. Yeah.

Two, plasma would be rare on Earth, but in a gas giant that's composed mainly of this shit, it'd be produced easily. Even more so if the Plasma-Gas-Giant doesn't have an atmosphere that could block out the cosmic rays.

Three, Tritium has a rather large half life, and even then is rather weak as far as radioactivity goes (you still don't want it in you, however). You can dunk yourself in tritium oxide (T2O), and so long as you don't get any IN YOU, your guts will be fine, you only risk skin cancer.

Four, given that burning the compound only produces CO2 (and water, which is actually Tritium Oxide, aka super-heavy water, aka radio-fucking-active water), it can ONLY have Hydrogen (or isotopes of), Carbon, and oxygen in it. Tritium is necessary to get the weight up into the range where it can be a liquid at standard temperature and pressure AT ALL, while at the same time giving it the necessary toxicity. Plasma gives you TOXIN damage, it does NOT give you oxyloss damage, so it doesn't just suffocate you, it actively attacks your body in SOME way. Ethane (C2H6) does not do this, and is pretty much completely non-toxic. Hell, the only real dangers of ethane are asphyxiation (oxyloss) and igniting it (burn/bomb).

Five, the OH (or OT, as it were) is necessary to also bump up the weight into the range where it can be a liquid/solid at room temperature. It also gives it enough intermolecular forces (the hydrogen/tritium bonding) to aid it being a liquid.

Eight, the combustion equation for this compound would be:

C2T5OT + 3O2 ---> 2CO2 + 3T2O

Theory by Pybro