Guide to Ghetto Chemistry

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For a general overview of chemistry and of all the chemical recipes, go to Guide to Chemistry.

Starting out

So, you are an average Spacer and either you want to be a Walter White, or your friend is dying, and you need to make medicine to save them. How do you do it?

First off, you're gonna wanna get these things to get started with ghetto chem.

  • A few beakers, soda cans, bottles, etc
  • A couple of tables to store your beakers, so you don't spill your shit on the floor

Most importantly, without this you don't have ghetto chem:

  • A mortar and pestle, which can be made from most materials. Grinders are a rare luxury in space, so if you happen to have one, make use of it!


  • A separatory funnel (craftable from 3 beakers and some cable coil). These are useful to separate your target chemical from all the other, possibly poisonous, junk. If you have a ChemMaster or CondiMaster, use it!

Remember that you can use matches, lighters, and igniters to heat containers as well.


Some chemicals can be converted to other chemicals by dipping stock parts into them. These reactions can supplement scavenging for Grindables, allowing for more flexibility.

The amount of chemicals converted with one operation is multiplied by the tier of stock part used. For example, using a Tier 4 Capacitor for electrolysis will electrolyze 40u of water instead of 10u at once. This can help greatly with overlapping recipes, reducing the amount of times the mix needs to be separated out.

Chemical Sources Notes
Hydrogen Electrolyze Water using a Capacitor. (Results in .6 units of Hydrogen and .3 units of Oxygen)
Oxygen Electrolyze Water using a Capacitor. (Results in .6 units of Hydrogen and .3 units of Oxygen)
Phosphorus Fuse Silicon and Hydrogen using a Micro-manipulator. (results in 1u Phosphorus for each 1u Silicon and 1u Hydrogen used)
Sulfur Fuse Phosphorus and Hydrogen using a Micro-laser. (results in 1u Sulfur for each 1u Phosphorus and 1u Hydrogen used)
Carbon Extract Carbon from Ash using a Scanning Module. (results in 1 unit per 3 units of Ash), heat up Cellulose Fibers or Sugar and Caramel.
Sodium Refine Lithium into Sodium using a Micro-laser. (Results in 1 unit per 2 units of Lithium) Overlaps with Potassium, remember to seperate out the sodium between each reaction, or it will be converted to Potassium.
Potassium Refine Sodium into Potassium using a Micro-laser. (Results in 1 unit per 2 units of Sodium)
Bromine Reduce Iodine into Bromine using a Scanning Module. Overlaps with Chlorine and Fluorine, remember to separate out the target reagent.
Chlorine Reduce Bromine into Chlorine using a Scanning Module. Overlaps with Bromine and Fluorine, remember to separate out the target reagent.
Fluorine Reduce Chlorine into Fluorine using a Scanning Module.
Radium Refine Uranium into Radium using a Micro-laser. (results in 1 unit per 2 units of Uranium.
Stable Plasma Stabilize Plasma using a Micro-manipulator


Not only can you steal things, but you can also shove them into a grinder to retrieve chemicals from them!

Chemical Sources Notes
Ammonia Urinal cakes (1u)
Ash Burning a paper and scooping up the ash with a beaker (30u), Lavaland sand (8.5u)
Aluminium Crushed soda cans (crush on your head first) (10u), deconstruct smart metal foam grenades (75u), Wasteplanet Sand (1u)
Blood Dead mouse (20u), or use a syringe to extract from a monkey or human
Carbon Coal (20u), cigarette butts (2u), package wrapping (5u per item in stack).
Cellulose Fibers Wood planks (20u per plank)
Chlorine Urinal cakes (3u), Wasteplanet sand (1u)
Copper Cable coils (2u per wire)
Ethanol Spraycans (15u), Mushroom Shavings
Fluorosulfuric acid Deconstruct smart metal foam grenades (25u)
Fluorosurfacant Deconstruct cleaner grenades (40u)
Gold Gold sheets (20u), gold coin (4u), robust Gold cigarettes (premium cigarette vendor item) (3u)
Hydrogen Glowsticks (10u)
Iodine Toner cartridge (40u), photographs (4u), pens (1u) Toner cartridges can be found in airlock painters.
Iron Metal (20u), plasteel (20u), lollipops (10u), electronics (10u), Rockplanet sand (10u), reinforced glass (10u), reinforced plasma glass (10u), toner cartridge (10u), pens (2u), power cells (5u), lighters (1u)
Lithium Any power cell, including potato batteries (15u), Wasteplanet sand (2u)
Liquid Electricity High-power energy bars (3u)
Liquid Gibs Dead mouse(5u), use a beaker on gibs on the floor (5u)
Lye Soap (10u)
Mercury Analyzer (5u)
Nicotine Cigarettes (around 15u), cigars (up to 40u), Mushroom Leaf
Nitrogen Lightbulbs (10u) and canned air (24u)
Nutriment Food, Mushroom Leaves
Oil Lighters (5u), using a beaker on oil spills (30u)
Omnizine Heated donk pockets (3u)
Oxandrolone Gumballs (2u)
Oxygen Canned air (6u) and glowsticks (5u)
Phenol Glowstick (15u)
Phosphorus Matches (2u), deconstruct a teargas grenade (40u)
Plasma Solid plasma (20u), plasteel (20u), plasma glass (10u), reinforced plasma glass (10u), Nanotrasen brand soap (10u)
Potassium Deconstruct a tear gas grenade (40u)
Radium Wasteplanet sand (1u)
Salicylic Acid Gumballs (2u)
Silicon Glass (20u), Sand (Varies per type), reinforced glass (20u), reinforced plasma glass (20u), circuit boards (20u), electronics (10u), light bulbs (5u), power cell (5u), analyzer (5u)
Silver Silver sheets. (20u)
Sodium Chloride Salt shakers (20u), Whitesands sand (10u), cup ramen (3u), beef jerky (2u), chips (1u) A reagent analyzer says a salt shaker contains table salt, but this is the same as sodium chloride.
Silver sulfadiazine Ointment (10u)
Smart foaming agent Deconstruct a smart metal foam grenade (25u)
Space cleaner Deconstruct cleaner grenades (10u)
Styptic powder Bruise pack (10u)
Sugar Grind up Mushroom Shavings (amount varies).

Dutch hot coco (5u), gumballs (5u), space twinkie (4u), 4no raisins (4u), candy (3u), cheesie honkers (3u), chips (3u), beef jerky (3u), donuts (2u), deconstruct a tear gas grenade (40u)

Sulfur Flare (15u)
Uranium Grind Uranium sheets. (20u)
Water Sinks, or Water tanks
Welding Fuel Spraycans (15u), Lighters (5u), or Welding fuel tanks

Heating And Cooling, The Ghetto Way

There are many chemicals that can only be made by heating a reagent up, and some more that are made by cooling. Making these without a Reagent Heater can be tricky- But not impossible! There are four distinct ways of heating and cooling reagents with ghetto chemistry:

1. Heating with a tool (welders, lighters, matchsticks, etc.)
  • Heating with a tool is good when you need to cook something quickly, generally speaking.
  • Lighters, welders, and matchsticks all heat consistent Kelvin amounts.
  • Only matchsticks are safe to cook meth with, assuming your ingredients are all 300K they will cook up to 2K short of the explosion limit.
  • For stuff like TaTP, you can use a bonfire with a grille to very gradually increase the temp of any beakers on the grille in 1K increments.
2. Heating and cooling with reagents
  • Reagents transfer their kelvin temperatures by averaging out the difference in temperatures between added reagent and base reagent.
  • This is also affected by how much of a reagent is being added, 50u of 400K water will heat more than 5u of 400K water.
  • Cooling can also work like this, allowing you to "rinse" the temperature out of dangerously hot reagents using 300K water from a sink.

3. Heating and cooling with Pyrosium and Cryostylane

  • Mixing Pyrosium or Cryostylane in a beaker will cool ALL reagents to 20K.
  • This is very useful for ghetto temperature consistency.
  • Adding oxygen will heat 1K for every unit of oxygen added for Pyrosium and cool it 1K for every unit for Cryostylane, regardless of the amount of either in the beaker.
  • Note that the oxygen will transfer its base temperature first (usually 300K) so there are some temperatures that cannot be reached, and you will have to do a lot of calculating to use this effectively.

4. Heating with Chlorine Trifluoride

  • Mixing CLF3 in a beaker will raise the temperature of all reagents to 1000K.
  • This is very useful for rapid heating, exploding bombs inside a body, and as a primer for explosives with a mixing temp higher than CLF3's mixing temperature (e.g. Nitrous Oxide, sometimes TaTP)
  • This still creates the fireball though, so do it under a shower or with a fire extinguisher handy.

Optimizations: Faster, Cheaper, Purer

A lot of strategies have been developed over time to make for more optimal production. Here's a list of tricks you can use to up your ghetto chemistry game.

1. Convert Into Mix

If you want to make chemicals that require a reagent conversion (e.g. Iodine -> Chlorine), you can do it without having to measure out and convert 5u of the reagent at a time. Add your other ingredients first, then add the conversion reagent. You don't have to worry about overshooting the conversion since it'll just mix into the reagent you want. Examples include:

  • Phenol: Put your Oil and Water in the beaker first, then Iodine proportionally. Use a scanning module to convert the Iodine into Bromine, then Chlorine. Note that it'll immediately mix into Phenol, meaning you don't have to worry about overshooting to Fluorine.
  • Drying Agent: Put 2 parts Stable Plasma, 2 parts Lithium, and 1 part Ethanol in a beaker. Use a micro-laser to reduce the lithium into Sodium, which will mix into Drying Agent instead of overshooting into Potassium.
  • Chlorine Trifluoride: This one's great. Grind two toner cartridges into a large beaker, then heat it until it's really (sic) hot. Spam a scanning module on it and it'll convert into CLF3, 80u pure. Note that this will burn incredibly hot while it's acting, so stand under a shower and pace your scanning module conversions.

2. Fast Sulphuric Acid Recipe

The fastest way to make Sulphuric Acid ghetto is to do the following:

  1. Have a Micro-Laser, Micro-Manipulator, and Separatory Funnel on hand. A mortar or grinding machine is also needed.
  2. Take one sheet of glass and grind it for 20u of Silicon.
  3. Fill the funnel to 100u of water and set the transfer rate to 100u. Electrolyze it twenty times.
  4. Filter out 66.66u of Hydrogen into the beaker or mortar of Silicon.
  5. Use the Micro-Manipulator to bind both into Phosphorus completely, then the Micro-Laser to bind that into Sulfur.
  6. Pour the Sulfur/Hydrogen mix into your funnel (which should still have 33.33u of Oxygen) and heat it.
  7. Use the funnel to extract 58u of Sulphuric Acid, in under a minute.

3. Dropperless Sub-5u Reagent Amounts

If you want to get a really specific reagent amount without a dropper or ChemMaster, you can do it ghetto! Take the reagent you're using and add 5u of it to a beaker. Then add 20u of a non-reacting reagent. Transfer 5u of the mixed beaker's contents into a funnel, and filter out the 4u of non-reacting placeholder to have 1u of the reagent you wanted. You can mess with the ratios and divisions to get sub-1u amounts too, for those precise 0.2u syringe mixes.