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Author: Subject: Societal collapse: What do you think would be most needed?
Whathappensif
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 03:53
Societal collapse: What do you think would be most needed?


Hi everyone, I am new to the forum :)

Scenario:
Coronavirus pandemic overwhelms the Earth, almost everyone is infected, a fifth of the world's population is dead, the survivors have long term chronic health issues (brain damage, breathing difficulties, etc.)

Many economies collapse, governments try to spend their way out of problems leading to hyperinflation, there is unemployment, starvation, social unrest, anarchy.

Question:
So my question is, what technologies, processes or chemicals do you think would be essential to surviving in the new post-apocalyptic reality I posed above?

If I had to name a single technology, it would be the Chloralkali cell. Reason for this is that you can make the following products from it:
  1. Sodium hydroxide -> Saponification of oils/fats to soap
  2. Sodium hypochlorite -> Bleach for sterilization
  3. Sodium chlorate/perchlorate -> Explosives & propellants for self-defense


Other probably very useful technologies would be portable solar cells, a combined heat & power plant using a Stirling engine (unlike other power plants this one can use a variety of fuels, including wood or paper), a biogas fermenter and maybe an improvised Birkeland-Eyde nitric acid generator if you have the electricity.

In terms of processes, fermenting and distilling would be useful, to produce ethanol for staying high :D and for sterilization.

Would be glad to hear your opinion.
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mackolol
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 04:05


Almost every drug would be really desired.
Medicines too the basic ones the most: paracetamol, ibuprofen, acetylsalicylic acid.
For coronavirus, I think chloroquine could make you rich or something that people think helps with the disease.
And a lot of disinfecting agent. We are not even near the collapse, but yet when the epidemy was at its best, prices of IPA in Poland have risen like 6 times and it made me mad about it.

[Edited on 10-7-2020 by mackolol]
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Tsjerk
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 04:32


You need precious metals, then you can trade those for whatever you need.

Edit: or the means to distill large amounts of ethanol, as there will always be a market for that.

[Edited on 10-7-2020 by Tsjerk]
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Belowzero
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 04:34


Penicillin production will be very much desired and might be very valuable.
It can be made in reasonable quantities with few starting materials.
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RedDwarf
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 05:41


Quote: Originally posted by mackolol  

For coronavirus, I think chloroquine could make you rich or something that people think helps with the disease.


[Edited on 10-7-2020 by mackolol]


Only if people continue to believe the febrile (t)wittering of brain dead politicians whose only interest is their own pockets and self agrandissement. Chloroquine DOES NOT help with coronavirus and has lots of high risk side effects. [Rant mode off]

Going back to the original post, economic collapse and anarchy effectively mean that trade (both national and international) collapses, so large scale processes don't work (no market for the products even if you could get the necessary energy and raw material inputs, and protect the installation), so small scale local operations become king effectively ruling out processes such as chloralkali cells.
I'd go for pyrolysis of wood and (scavenged) plastics to produce chemical feedstocks and extracting active compounds (drugs/precursors) from plants.
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Ubya
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 05:56


pyrolisis of plastics to get a somewhat crude oil would probably help. im not sure if during a global collapse oil mining, refining and oil transportation would keep going, probably yes as it is the fuel of our world, but in an apocalypse scenario this might not hold true.

the chloroalkali process surely is one of the most important and basic processes (and quite easy even at small scales).
without big industrial plants pumping out ammonia, agriculture will suffer.
it might be worthwhile to start building the good old nitrate pits.





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draculic acid69
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 06:41


Firstly everyone needs to watch "the last man on earth". It's never been more relevant.
Once you get past the cringeworthy annoyingness of the lead actor it's fukn hilarious.
It's like they seen into the future about ppl dying from the "virus".
Plastic is really just oil precursor and needs to be viewed as a commodity.most of what I throw in the non recycling bin is fully recyclable soft plastics which are apparently perfect for making hydrocarbons.or fuels or back into plastic.
Saltwater is necessary for making caustic soda and bleach.and salt is a good food preservative. Cooking oil is diesel precursor. Yeasts would be needed to make alcohol and vinegar for food preservation.wood can be cooked for wood gas and carbon for metal smelting/recycling.pyroligneus acid can be made from wood as well. Even urine would become a commodity for ammonia and less so for Phosphorus.in north Korea tanker cars of human crap are a common commodity. there basically living in the dark ages there. These are where I would start with the basics.

[Edited on 10-7-2020 by draculic acid69]
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 08:18


Quote: Originally posted by Ubya  

it might be worthwhile to start building the good old nitrate pits.


Sorry, I'm already working those to make black powder.

Got any pee to sell ?

I can switch it for the charcoal I'm making in the woods so I can be ready for the moment we get back to the bronze age.




The spirit of adventure was upon me. Having nitric acid and copper, I had only to learn what the words 'act upon' meant. - Ira Remsen
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clearly_not_atara
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 08:48


Seems like you'd still need the Haber process... and if you couldn't build a Haber reactor the easiest alternative would be the cyanamide process:

CaCO3 + 4 C >> CaC2 + 3 CO

CaC2 + N2 >> CaCN2 + C

In addition to urea, you could easily make melamine which is one step away from the very useful melamine-formaldehyde. Acetylene is likewise useful for all sorts of stuff.




[Edited on 04-20-1969 by clearly_not_atara]
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brubei
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 09:39


cellulose extraction for toilet paper
antibiotics
pain killer (morphine extraction)
alcohol

[Edited on 10-7-2020 by brubei]




I'm French so excuse my language
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SWIM
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 09:54


Quote: Originally posted by brubei  
cellulose extraction for toilet paper
antibiotics
pain killer (morphine extraction)
alcohol

[Edited on 10-7-2020 by brubei]


You could probably get by with:
bidets
sulfa drugs
opium

But alcohol is hard to replace.




Ebay says they need to get their hands on my bank account if I want to keep selling there.
This sounds like the best idea since putting ortho tricresyl phosphate in Ginger Jake.
I'm walking while I can still walk straight.




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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 10:54


Quote: Originally posted by SWIM  


You could probably get by with:
bidets
sulfa drugs
opium

But alcohol is hard to replace.


I'll take it a step further and say:

wet rag
moldy bread
stick to bite down on

still need alcohol though!
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njl
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[*] posted on 10-7-2020 at 15:58


Quote: Originally posted by OldNubbins  
Quote: Originally posted by SWIM  


You could probably get by with:
bidets
sulfa drugs
opium

But alcohol is hard to replace.


I'll take it a step further and say:

wet rag
moldy bread
stick to bite down on

still need alcohol though!


Technically speaking, you could deal with all of these problems with a squirt bottle full of alcohol.
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Eddie Current
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[*] posted on 11-7-2020 at 02:53


Quote: Originally posted by Whathappensif  
Hi everyone, I am new to the forum :)

Scenario:
Coronavirus pandemic overwhelms the Earth, almost everyone is infected, a fifth of the world's population is dead, the survivors have long term chronic health issues (brain damage, breathing difficulties, etc.)

Many economies collapse, governments try to spend their way out of problems leading to hyperinflation, there is unemployment, starvation, social unrest, anarchy.

Question:
So my question is, what technologies, processes or chemicals do you think would be essential to surviving in the new post-apocalyptic reality I posed above?

If I had to name a single technology, it would be the Chloralkali cell. Reason for this is that you can make the following products from it:
  1. Sodium hydroxide -> Saponification of oils/fats to soap
  2. Sodium hypochlorite -> Bleach for sterilization
  3. Sodium chlorate/perchlorate -> Explosives & propellants for self-defense


Other probably very useful technologies would be portable solar cells, a combined heat & power plant using a Stirling engine (unlike other power plants this one can use a variety of fuels, including wood or paper), a biogas fermenter and maybe an improvised Birkeland-Eyde nitric acid generator if you have the electricity.

In terms of processes, fermenting and distilling would be useful, to produce ethanol for staying high :D and for sterilization.

Would be glad to hear your opinion.


Enough chemistry equipment to make chemicals.
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brubei
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[*] posted on 11-7-2020 at 02:55


Quote: Originally posted by njl  
Technically speaking, you could deal with all of these problems with a squirt bottle full of alcohol.
collapse is not a problem of demand, it's a problem of offer



I'm French so excuse my language
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