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Colton's Guide to Gas Synthesis

Warning: The author of this guide is actively tweaking and adding new gases to atmospherics. Sections will be marked updated or otherwise, but the gist will remain. Current Status: Fully updated but incomplete


Introduction

Gas synthesis is a precise science, requiring practice, brain cells and more than a fair bit of autism. This guide assumes that you have all three in ample supply, as well as the patience to relentlessly optimize your gas setups for incremental gains. Here, you will learn how to synthesize the gases in large batches, well past the standard amounts you are normally used to, as well as the more faceted aspects of atmospherics that always give you something new to try out.

What you'll need:

  • Understanding of basic atmospherics.
  • The ability to explain what each piece of piping and machinery dispensable by your RPD does (roughly), especially Heat Exchange systems.
  • You must also know how to make an effective turbine engine that doesn't waste too much gas.

Gas Production

Each gas has different reaction requirements. Fulfilling those requirements to synthesize a small amount of gas is quite easy, making them in large batches in excess of 1000 moles in a timely and fuel-efficient manner is what this guide is about.

Tritium

Tritgengraph.png

Tritium is the most frequently produced gas in the turbine and for good reason. It is the most energetic non-fusion gas reaction, producing enough heat for the nitryl reaction, heating up fusion canisters to the requisite temperatures, generating radiation for the pluoxium reaction without the use of a supermatter crystal and is required in all the higher level gases. It also makes for great practice, since mastering the techniques required to produce large amounts of it touches on one of the essentials of every other gas reaction. Due to this, it is a good idea to practice tritium synthesis as you'll find it useful for all other reactions.

Tritium is produced when plasma burns under a high concentration of oxygen, specifically, a threshold (known in the code as the super saturation threshold) 96 times more oxygen than plasma. For this reason, only a 1 percent amount of plasma mixed with 96 percent more of oxygen will burn to produce tritium. This is true if we only consider one reaction tick, however the experienced among you know that you can get away with a 97-3 oxygen:plasma ratio and still get tritium. The reason for why this is is because of the oxygen burn rate being low enough that the oxygen replenishment rate rapidly ramps the concentration of oxygen to the point that the feed-in rate of plasma places the ratio of plasma to oxygen above the super saturation threshold. If this isn't clear enough, try understanding the following table:


Fuel component concentrations over time with a 97:3 oxygen:plasma burn.
Tick count?
Oxygen 97 191 285 379
Plasma 3 3 3 3
O2:Plasma ratio 32.33 63.66 95 126.33
Generating Trit? N N N Y

Tessa note: I dont get what this table is supposed to look like or get what it even means, just looks like random numbers tbh. i've thrown it into a simple table so you can figure out what to actually put.

This table is not 100% accurate due to LINDA and other aspects of atmos that complicate the calculations, but demonstrates the point.

As you can see, plasma is always burned off at a rate of 1:1 with the oxygen, resulting in the plasma mole count remaining very low while oxygen keeps ramping up and increasing, eventually to the point that the ratio reaches the super saturation threshold and producing tritium. This applies to any atmos mix. This is very important because you can ramp up the plasma percentage of the feed in gasmix and still remain above the super saturation threshold. It is very common to have a mixture of 85-15 oxygen-plasma once a large amount of oxygen has accumulated inside the burn chamber, resulting in a tritium generation rate that is 5 times higher than the usual 97-3 ratio used by beginner atmosians. Peak atmosians generally start off with a lower concentration burn mix like 7-93, then switch to 15-85 after the reaction has been going on for a while to maximize the amount of time that the chamber spends above the super saturation threshold.

This phenomenon is dubbed the oxygen accumulation rate, or oxyrate for short, and can have very interesting results when tinkered with. Just as the oxyrate being positive results in a higher and higher O2:plasma chamber ratio, turning your oxyrate negative should lower the chamber ratio. You might wonder why this is desirable, but another optimization trick that is performed by peak atmosians is short duration negative oxyrate burns. This is performed when the accumulation of oxygen inside the chamber has gone on for so long that the engineer operating the system pushes up the plasma percentage to something insane like 40% plasma and 60% oxygen, burning away excess oxygen with a negative oxyrate burn while still remaining above the super saturation threshold and producing tritium. As long as the ratio remains above the super saturation threshold, this strategy is viable and more often than not results in large bursts of tritium being accumulated in the cooling vessel. Do note that this should only be performed with a high capacity cooling vessel.

Oxyrate tricks and LINDA complications (Work in progress)

Cooling your tritium

This is something the atmosian should be familiar with already - scrubbers work best when removing cold gas. The reasoning is simple, they can cram more moles in if the pressure was lower, but cooling is not the only answer to fast scrubbing, there is another that one should learn to use effectively: Volume. Volume dictates pressure in the ideal gas section with a linear inverse relation, as any atmosian should know and connecting your scrubbers directly to a high volume pipenet will allow them to harvest even more gas per tick. Any atmosian who has studied the SM will now understand why the spaceloop is so useful, it provides both volume and cooling. The same applies to your tritium, except its even hotter than your SM (though thankfully less dangerous), dumping all the gas into a large spaceloop is the best method of harvesting it, even better than freezers. In fact, freezers are completely outclassed by spaceloops in this department, regardless of how well upgraded the freezer is. The spaceloop may not be able to compete with the freezer in reachable temperature, but it makes up for that fact by having 2 orders of magnitude more volume. A spaceloop of 20,000 volume has 100 times the volume of a cooler, and since its cooling speed scales linearly with the amount of tiles it spans (which also increases volume), they are a far more effective cooling solution than a fully upgraded freezer ever will, at least in this situation. Plus, a large spaceloop can be built in 5 minutes with an RPD, while a freezer requires science to do their job, miners to do their job and for you to have access to said materials. This usually occurs at the 20 minute mark at best. The spaceloop can be completed by the 15 minute mark while tritium harvesting is underway. This 10 minute gap clearly makes spaceloops far more effective for the job - you will only need the freezers if you for some reason need the gas at temperatures below 22.7K, such as for making hypernoblium bombs or portable tritiumfloods in a tank for traitor activities.

Water Vapor Waste Removal

Water Vapor is a waste product produced by the combustion of hydrogen isotopes with oxygen, this is modeled in game by the tritium burn reaction. This is an extremely frustrating reaction that burns away the vast majority of your tritium before it gets scrubbed into your cooling vessel, upwards of 85% of tritium is lost in this manner and there is no way to get the tritium back. The water vapor also increases the stochiometric heat capacity of the gasmix in the burn chamber and is instantiated at T20C, causing a net loss of energy and much colder fires. The removal of this waste product is necessary if you wish to maintain high-temperature fires for fusion or nitryl synthesis, but doing so in a manner that does not compromise your tritium harvesting is impossible without cutting into your time budget for minimal yields. The methods of removal are generally a tradeoff between maintaining oxyrate equilibrium and being fast, for fast fusion (presumably for traitor activities) the latter is necessary, for hypernoblium synthesis it is generally preferred to use methods that preserve oxyrate equilibrium.

Venting

The simplest method you can use, it's a simple activation of the auxiliary turbine blast door, spacing all the contents of your chamber into oblivion, removing all that waste water vapor as well as all that precious oxygen. This method is generally not advisable as it removes your oxygen gasbank, forcing you to restart from a lower concentration plasma burnmix. It is however used if you simply want to achieve fusion without regard for obtaining large amounts of tritium.

Scrubbing into injector

A simple method consisting of adding a dedicated scrubber connected directly into an injector set to scrub only water vapor. This method works but is incredibly inefficient. Scrubbers dump their scrubbed gases directly into their parent pipenet, with the amount harvested based on the volume, given that a scrubber and injector pipenet with only a few bits of connective piping has incredibly little volume, the removal of water vapor occurs at a rate that is incredibly low compared to the rate it is generated at, even if all that gas is removed by the maxed out injector, which it is not. This also consumes precious scrubber space within the burn chamber, lowering tritium yields and is generally not useful. This technique is, however, the basis for more efficient methods.

Pulsing the tritium scrubbers

A far more common method due to its balance between efficiency and time costs. Instead of building a dedicated scrubber and injector pipenet for the water vapor, a hybrid tritium + water vapor scrubbing system is used instead. This consists of adding a reflow filter to the existing tritium cooling vessel, with the output connected to an injector, usually the prebuilt one in the incinerator, this allows for the retention of tritium in the cooling vessel and the expulsion of water. Be warned however, that tritium and water vapor harvesting cannot be done at the same time without drastically lowering the rate at which tritium is scrubbed as water vapor comprises a far larger percentage of the chamber's gasmix by percentage compared to the tritium and actually causes so much water vapor to enter the cooling vessel that it clogs, preventing further harvesting. For this reason, the scrubbers are pulsed instead, this means setting the scrubbers to scrub water vapor until the cooling vessel fills to capacity, then turning it off until it cools down and allows for more water vapor. This minimizes the scrubbing window in which the scrubbers clog and creates a more stochiometrically favorable gasmix for further scrubbing pulses. This process requires manual control and cannot be automated ; it also relies on thermal queues that require some training to spot. An active burn chamber with a bluish white flame and a green tritium overlay is generally a healthy flame over 10000 kelvin and a low percentage of water vapor in its gasmix, once it turns orangeish, or worse red, the water vapor has accumulated to the point that it is degrading the temperature of your fires - it is at this point you begin pulsing the scrubbers for water vapor. A well designed cooling vessel can accumulate a large amount of water vapor before clogging, usually causing the heat pipes to turn orange or red to reflect the added heat, it is generally at this point where the vessel clogs and water vapor scrubbing should be stopped, completing a single scrubber pulsing cycle. It usually takes many cycles to recover from a red fire, but not as many to recover from an orange fire.

Dedicated scrubber with dedicated cooling vessel

The most expensive water vapor removal process in terms of both time for construction and valuable scrubber space consumed, but also the most effective one. The design is rather simple, adding a completely separate cooling vessel with a completely separate injector and scrubber pair to remove water vapor. This is very rarely utilized as it significantly delays tritium production and slightly lowers tritium harvesting yield from the loss of dedicated tritium scrubber space but comes with the benefit of being fully automated, no pulsing required! It is generally advised to only use this on a green shift, or if you have another atmosian helping out.

Natural dissipation

Water vapor naturally decreases at a rate of 20 moles per tick when on any turf. This means it will take absolutely forever for accumulated levels of water vapor to dissipate, but it's entirely possible. Do not rely on this method however, it is instead best to resort to the next method described.

Turning off the fuel and scrubbing out the vapor

self explanatory. Without heat being produced, the water vapor is much colder and easier to scrub. Furthermore, as no tritium is being produced, you can do this without worrying about any tritium-vapor scrubbing contention. This is a lot better than simply venting since you preserve the oxygen, but does take a bit more time. This also resets the temperature of the chamber to near room temperature and so is not advised to being performed frequently if thermals are your objective. They are however, best performed if you wish to clear a burn chamber in preparation for heating to fusion temperatures for your fusion can.

Remember that the roundstart injector in the incinerator is not maxed out, bottlenecking you if you forget to max it out.

Nitryl

Nitryl is not particularly interesting, the speedup murders your lungs and is best used in short bursts, but is not worth the time investment to manufacture. Stimulum however, a nitryl prerequisite, is far more valuable and may be worth it depending on your situation. The manufacturing of nitryl requires Nitrogen and Oxygen with some N2O catalyst and a large amount of heat. However, the conversion efficiency of nitryl scales upwards starting from the requisite 22500K, with most tritium burns under active water vapor scrubbing barely reaching the requisite temperatures and if they do, the conversion efficiency is so low the reaction proceeds far too slowly for batch production. For this reason, nitryl is unique in that it does not technically require to manufacture, but mass production requires it. As a result, it is generally advisable to reserve a slot of your sequestral heat exchange pipes for the nitryl, alongside the fusion can and hypernoblium.