Ethyne (also known as acetylene) with formula C2H2 is a potential resource molecule for future gemstone metamaterial on chip factories. It received especially much attention in theoretical analysis due to a few advantageous properties.
- low hydrogen content
- reactive highly unsaturated carbon-carbon triple bond
- high energy compound
Alternate carbon resource molecules
Carbon dioxide tapped directly from the air. Given renewable or nuclear energy this would be "carbon negative".
There will be quite a bit of ultra pure water as a side product though due to methanes high hydrogen content.
Maybe methane is not a good carbon resource for for deep space operations where you either need to bring the oxygen or store pure hydrogen.
More processing steps may influence the internal efficiency negatively. But efficiency gains o external conventional chemical preprocessing must be considered too.
Possibly Carbohydrates like e.g. sugars?
Handling floppy chain molecules are resource molecules may pose additional design challenges.
Also sugars like to from rings and self polymerize.
Notes on interesting properties of Ethyne
Today Ethyne (also known as acetylene) is mainly used for gas welding (oxyacetylene welding).
- It can create an especially hot flame
- It can create a reducing environment good for welding
Storing etyne in large quantities in pure form can be dangerous since (given enough pressure and temperature) it likes to self polymerize in a runaway exothermic reaction. Etyne gas tanks are thus filled with a compound that counteracts this self polymerization tendency. Lowering pressure by adsorption and slowing reaction kinetics (to check).
- Methane – another possible carbon carrying resource molecule – more stable, less reactive, carries for times more hydrogen atoms per carbon atom
- Resource molecule – Moiety
- Acetylene sorting pumps are supposed to sort/purifies these molecules.
- Piezochemical mechanosynthesis
- Carbon dioxide
- Polyyne rods