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Anaerobic decomposing material

  1. Mar 13, 2012 #1
    Dear all,

    Does anyone of you know the name of some materials that self-decompose in anaerobic conditions (spontaneus decay possibly) in a reasonable time? I'm researching a possible application for this kind of things.

    Thank you in advance,


  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2012 #2


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    Define "self-decompose".
  4. Mar 18, 2012 #3
    I need something that, in anaerobic conditions, loses mass from its solid phase (i.e. turns into gas or is used by some sort of micro-organisms as nutrient) in a reasonable time:

    basically I'd like my material to "vanish" after some time (again: in anaerobic vacuum conditions!)

    I don't know if anything like this exists, but if anyone has some pointers I'd be grateful.
  5. Mar 18, 2012 #4
    Nuclear fuel?
  6. Mar 18, 2012 #5


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    Anaerobic is not vacuum. Which is it... anaerobic or vacuum? Anaerobic decomposition can occur with any number of polymers such as cellulose (or rayon), aliphatic polyesters, aliphatic nylons and so forth. If nutrients are blended with these polymers, you have a head start on the process.
    On the other hand, vacuum isn't compatible with life, anaerobic or otherwise.
  7. Mar 19, 2012 #6
    I apologize in advance if I say something stupid and/or confusing, I'm a computer scientist, not an expert in the field, but I'm working in a team that still has to do its first meeting and I wanted to come with some ideas already :)

    The "decomposition" is supposed to work in space (the human-made satellite orbits), so technically I think that vacuum is more of a precise description than anaerobic.

    @chemisttree: You said that vacuum is not compatible with life, but I don't need my agents to live for a long time, just as much is required to consume my material: basically I want to bring a board of material in space in any desired stability condition, and once I put it "outside" my ship, it has to self-decompose in a matter of days possibly. Do you think this is possible?

    @Schliere: could you elaborate your suggestion a little bit?

    @All: Don't forget that you are talking to a dummy of the field :D Thanks in advance for your time and cooperation!
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