The simplest atomic bomb works when two pieces of supercritical Uranium - 235 are brought together at speed.
The availability of experimental data for this reaction using cutinase in acetonitrile and supercritical CO2 has prompted this choice.
‘With supercritical fluid extraction, we compress and heat a gas - usually carbon dioxide - so it becomes more dense and liquidlike,’ King explains.
But there's plenty of ammonia out there, too, along with methane, sulfuric acid, and other potential solvents like the supercritical dihydrogen found in the lower layers of gas giant planets.
Chemists are attempting to address this problem by finding alternative solvents, such as water and supercritical CO2, and by biphasic system that allows catalyst recycling.
After this supercritical mass is obtained, a self-sustained chain reaction takes place and causes the atomic explosion.