We disassemble the ending of "Alien"
I, as usual, will not calm down.
And all the reason is iodine pentafluoride and the previous article !
In general, we all (I hope) remember the beginning of Ridley Scott's work and just the stunning film “Alien”, which I recommend, despite the fact that it was 1979. By the end of this article, I will prove that the film is not just cool - it IS SCIENTIFIC!
And for this we strain the memory and remember the ending: Ripley sits on the shuttle and suddenly discovers the Alien there.
And now there will be some pictures, warm memories and chemistry.
Having discovered the Alien, Ripley decides to blow at him with special gases. He cheerfully put on a spacesuit (and not in vain, as will be shown later - it’s not even in space), singing a song about
Special gases on the shuttle
The list is more than curious:
- A. Iodine pentafluoride.
- B. Isobutane.
- C. Methyl chloride.
- D. Nitrosyl chloride.
- E. Methyl bromide.
- F. Isobutylene.
- G. Phosphine.
- N. Silan.
- I. Perfluoropropane.
- J. Phosgene.
- K. Something on "A", argon ("ARGON"), acetylene ("ACETYLENE"), arsine ("ARSINE")? I don’t know, I can’t make out. Definitely not ammonia (“AMMONIA”), there the second letter does not look like that.
So, Ripley first tries to fumigate our friend with iodine pentafluoride:
Alien somehow little celebrates these actions.
Then we fumigate with methyl chloride.
Also zero to ground.
From the third time - good luck! We fumigate the creature with nitrosyl chloride.
And here went twisting and throwing
It all ended up being thrown into space and burned in the exhaust from the engine.
By the way, the Alien in the exhaust did not burn out, which is important
Now let's take a look at what we saw.
What kind of gases?
“Special Gases on the Shuttle” is a really strange set.
1. Iodine Pentafluoride IF 5
Well, actually iodine pentafluoride is not a gas, but a heavy yellow liquid with a boiling point of 97.85 ° C. I already wrote about it , it is a very strong fluorinating agent, that is, if our belly was blown with this rubbish at the temperature of boiling water - it is really tenacious! Many questions arise from what the shuttle itself is made of, since iodine pentafluoride quietly destroys not only metals, but also glass and concrete. There are also questions for Ripley's suit - but it is.
2. Isobutane CH (CH 3 ) 3
Isobutane is a common combustible gas (by the way, with an octane rating of 100), it can be used in internal combustion engines and as a refrigerant. Ripley did not use it - and rightly so: if iodine pentafluoride did not give a result - what's the point? Moreover, sparks could then be there - which means it could also explode.
3. Methyl chloride CH 3 Cl
Methyl chloride is a colorless poisonous gas with a sweet smell. Due to the faint odor, toxic or explosive concentrations can easily be overlooked. Chloromethane used to be also used as a refrigerant, but due to toxicity and explosiveness it no longer occurs in this role. The main application now: the production of polymers, as a methylating agent in organic synthesis, as rocket fuel, as a carrier in low-temperature polymerization, as a liquid for thermometric and thermostatic equipment, as a herbicide (also limited due to toxicity).
The toxicity of methyl chloride is associated with its hydrolysis to methyl alcohol - and then, as I wrote in one of the previous articles .
Ripley either did not know biochemistry, or hoped that the Alien in the body also had alcohol dehydrogenase
4. Nitrosyl chloride NOCl
Nitrosyl chloride is a red gas, toxic, with a choking odor. It is usually observed as a product of the process of decomposition of aqua regia - a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acids - it is he who stinks and his tail rises above it when heated (steamed with nitrogen oxides). I also wrote about it .
Nitrosyl chloride is widely used as a chlorinating agent, by the way it is registered as a food additive with the index E919 - as an improver and color stabilizer for bakery products. Sometimes it was also used to clean and disinfect drinking water.
Very little is used in the food industry of nitrosyl chloride, but at the same time, in pure form, this substance poses the most serious danger to life and health. Inhalation of its vapor causes severe irritation of the mucous membranes, pulmonary edema, bronchospasm, asthmatic attack, as well as a number of other manifestations of respiratory failure. Physical contact leads to chemical burns of the skin.
It is not surprising that the Alien did not like him very much.
5. Methyl bromide CH 3 Br
It resembles methyl chloride in character. Additionally, except as used in organic synthesis, it is used as a fumigant for disinfecting plant materials from scale insects, false shields and mealybugs, as well as for controlling pests of stocks, in particular fresh and dried vegetables and fruits, less often for processing grain. As a fumigant, it is banned for use due to toxicity under the Montreal Protocol.
It was also used in the processing of used clothes, but even here they were abandoned due to toxicity (so you can safely go to SecondHand).
Ripley was absolutely right that she did not use it - to the point, if methyl chloride did not help?
6. Isobutylene CH 2 C (CH 3 ) 2
Combustible gas is most commonly used in the production of polymers. Nothing special, the effect will be like from isobutane.
7. Phosphine PH 3
Poisonous gas, upsets the metabolism and affects the central nervous system, also acts on the blood vessels, respiratory organs, liver, and kidneys. It was considered as a chemical warfare agent - and by the way, one of the toxic products of the interaction of yellow phosphorus with water (again referring to one of the previous articles ). Pure gas - odorless, technical contains impurities, because of which it has the smell of rotten fish.
They use phosphine in the synthesis of organophosphorus as a source of phosphorus impurities in the production of semiconductors, as well as a fumigant - an alternative to the forbidden methyl bromide. Apparently, by analogy with methyl bromide and chloride, Ripley decided that phosphine would not help.
8. Silane, and more precisely, monosilane SiH 4
(By the way, SiCl 2 seemed to me right away - but this compound is stable only at liquid nitrogen temperature).
Colorless gas with an unpleasant odor. It must be said that in the presence of oxygen, monosilane can spontaneously ignite. They write that silane is toxic with an LC 50 of 0.96% for rats - if they are fortunate enough not to burn out from an outbreak of silane.
They are used in various organic synthesis reactions (preparation of organosilicon polymers, etc.) as a source of pure silicon for the microelectronic industry in the manufacture of crystalline and thin-film photoconverters based on silicon, LCD screens, substrates, and technological layers of integrated circuits, as well as for obtaining ultra-pure polysilicon.
I think Ripley was really afraid of the fire, and therefore did not use the silane on the Alien.
9. Perfluoropropane C 3 F 8
Perfluoropropane is a typical representative of perfluorinated hydrocarbons. It can be used as a refrigerant. It is difficult to burn, non-explosive, low toxicity. Like all perfluorocarbons, it can create a strong greenhouse effect hundreds of times stronger than CO 2 , which can potentially be used for terraforming. By the way, does not affect the ozone layer.
Ripley, apparently, decided that perfluoropropane would not be of any use, it was only suitable for strangulation of animals that breathe oxygen - but given how Alien jerked cheerfully in space - not an option.
10. Phosgene SOCl 2
A good choice of poison for humans and mammals - I already wrote about it too . Also used in organic synthesis.
Apparently, Ripley understood that the Alien was too different from the biology of mammals, and therefore did not choose phosgene. Perhaps he was "number four" after nitrosyl chloride. It is unknown here.
11. Huh? Argon?
In general, nothing special - inert gas. Does not interact with anything.
Also useless, like perfluoropropane.
11. Acetylene C 2 H 2 ?
Combustible gas, sometimes also used in organic synthesis. It may be rocket fuel, but minus is difficult to liquefy. In the fight against the Alien - like a dead poultice.
11. Arsine AsH 3 ?
Poison is very similar to phosphine, but also causes hemolysis of red blood cells. Yes, one of the strongest inorganic poisons - but I think that Ripley already knew that something had to be burned, not poisoned, and red blood cells in Alien’s blood - well, except from dinner ...
By the way, arsine is also used for the semiconductor industry.
- In a stressful situation, Ripley acted carefully and deliberately: she didn’t allow a fire, she correctly selected the gases to smoke the Alien - everything was done correctly.
- It is completely incomprehensible what Alien consists of? Judging by the causticity of his saliva, it has something like chlorine trifluoride, but then its temperature should be below +12 ° C, otherwise this substance will boil. Does he have blood from bromine fluorides (I already wrote about them )? Then from what he himself: is not afraid of high and low temperatures, but has a significant coefficient of expansion during heating - we recall the ending “Alien-3”, where after molten lead he managed to explode with sprayed water. Organosilicon is not suitable - fluorides would have dissolved it. Some kind of fluorine? But why then did nitrosyl chloride work? Then the filmmakers left a riddle.
- It is completely incomprehensible what the ship is made of: it is not afraid of hot iodine pentafluoride, nitrosyl chloride - but is eaten through the Alien's saliva through and through. If in Alien's blood there are super acids (read about them in the previous article too ), then resistance to gases is strange. If in the blood of someone else's - fluoride halogens - it is strange that the ship consumed them, but the iodine pentafluoride withstood. The second riddle.
- The Nostromo commercial towing vehicle, or rather, the rescue shuttle, is unexpectedly equipped with gases necessary for organic synthesis (fluorination, methylation, polymer reactions, chlorination), gases for treating crops from pests, fuel gases, refrigerants, raw materials for semiconductor manufacturing and gases for semiconductor production terraforming. Was the astronaut expected to use hi-tech when surviving? On the other hand - the distant future (the original version of the script spoke about 2087) ...
- “Alien” is the coolest movie. Unlike other Hollywood films - thought out even to such chemical trifles.