Wuxiaworld > Release that Witch > Chapter 377: Under Low Temperatures

Chapter 377: Under Low Temperatures

Chapter 377: Under Low Temperatures

Translator: Meh/TransN Editor: - -
The boiler heating system was not too complicated and essentially just involved boiling the water and distributing the heat through pipes and radiators into the rooms. The heat could be carried by water or steam, and Roland preferred the latter because it had a higher temperature and was more convenient. As long as the boiler kept on running, the steam pressure would fill the pipes with hot water droplets without the help of a pump.

Of course, there were also shortcomings to a steam heating system. The pipes were always under very high pressure, so weak infrastructure could cause leakages or even explosions. The steam would reach temperatures of 200 to 300 degrees Celsius, making it extremely damaging to human flesh and thus raising the safety standards for the steam heating system. Anna's Blackfire welding technique, combined with Soraya’s coating, guaranteed system integrity and reduced these risks to a minimum.

Roland also installed an automatic valve on the boiler, which had the same mechanical principles as the centrifugal governor on a steam engine . When the furnace pressure was too high, the high-speed rotation of the flywheel would pull the valve upwards, releasing steam and lowering pressure.

The last safety measure was located between the boiler and the two main heating pipes. Roland asked Anna to carve several grooves around the connecting copper pipe in order to decrease its strength, just like in the design of tin cans. Even if the pressure valve failed to turn on, the explosion would still be contained in the boiler and would not harm anyone in the room.

The castle was completely transformed after the heating system was up and running.

The witches’ thick winter clothes were replaced with unlined fall garments. Watching the girls talking and laughing in their colorful attire greatly increased Roland’s motivation to work.

Of course, these facilities could only act as a supplement to their lifestyle and help create a better working environment.

His next task was much more important and decided the future of the Western Region.

He had to find a way to produce synthetic ammonia and reduce dependence on nitrate, which would allow chemical explosive production to reach new heights and satisfy the amount required to use automatic firing weapons.

If he could achieve this by the end of the winter, it would undoubtedly serve him well in his planned offensive in the spring.

Roland summoned Kyle Sichi and Agatha to his office.

"How have you two been working together during these past few days?" he asked with a smile on his face. Kyle Sichi was the Chief Alchemist of Border Town, but besides his love for alchemy, he hardly cared about people's feelings or opinions. On the other hand, Agatha came from the Witch Kingdom from four centuries ago and was a proud member of the Quest Society, the kingdom’s most prestigious research institution. Both of them were straight talkers and had highly reactionary personalities. Roland was often worried that they might fight, but he needed them to work together to produce nitro-explosives and ammonia. Thus, he had to personally check in with them, because if they argued, only he would be able to work things out.

"Very well." Kyle’s words shocked Roland. "Miss Agatha's abilities are of great help to my experiments. I've found the stable synthesis temperature of nitration glycerol, and there have been no problems with laboratory preparation, so we’re currently testing the possibility of industrial production. None of this would be possible without the ice cups... Oh, forgive me, I was so busy that I forgot to inform you of this. " He paused and said, "By the way, if you called me here to ask about this, can I return to my laboratory now? I still have many things to do."

"Um… is that so?" Roland looked towards Agatha, and she nodded.

"Sir Kyle has an extraordinary amount of knowledge, especially in regards to the elements, which is somewhat similar to that of the Quest Society. We’re cooperating very nicely, and if he was in Taquila, he would definitely have been accepted by the Union."

"Was it actually easier for two straight talkers to get along? It seems I was worried for nothing. But why does the chief alchemist more respectful towards the witch than towards me? How sad..." Roland thought to himself and cleared his throat. "Then I'm relieved. I gathered you here to assign you some new research. "

"Please." Kyle perked up as soon as he heard the word "research".

"As I said before, there are many different gases in the air, and it's time we start using them. According to ‘Elementary Chemistry’, oxygen and nitrogen make up 99% of the air, and I need to separate these two gases for chemical production," Roland explained.

Kyle contemplated for a moment. "Do you mean we should separate them by using their different characteristics, such as their different boiling points and melting points?"

"That's right." Roland nodded. "Condense and then reheat the gases. As the boiling point of nitrogen is lower than oxygen, it can be distilled from the liquid first. Since the temperature needed is far below the freezing point for water, the experiment is difficult to conduct with conventional methods, so Agatha’s abilities are crucial."

"Turning air into liquid," Kyle said, stroking his beard. "It sounds very interesting."

"If the temperature was brought low enough, they could freeze into solids," Roland smiled and said. The alchemist probably never dreamed that the seemingly elusive gas could be held in a person's hands – as long as adequate anti-frostbite measures were taken.

Agatha asked confusedly, "I flipped through the same book a little, but I didn't see anything about air being frozen into a variety of gases."

"It's difficult to distinguish them with the naked eye because they are mixed together and show no distinct layers," Rolland explained. "The first step is to eliminate carbon dioxide, which has the highest freezing point, but it makes up a very small percentage of air, so you wouldn't even notice its solid form. Next, oxygen and nitrogen would fuse together to give off a light blue hue. If you don’t separate it, it would look like a pure substance, but liquid nitrogen is actually colorless."

"What should we do?"

"First, prepare the distillation vessel." The prince grinned. "This is a very important project."

There was no doubt that depending on Agatha alone would not be enough. Glass could easily break under repeated temperature changes, so the vessels for the liquid air could only be made of steel. This was not difficult for Anna, but the closed shell would make it impossible to see the liquefied air changing during the heating process. Therefore, Sylvie's Eye of Magic was necessary to observe the situation inside of the vessel. Then, Agatha would record the magic consumption at the boiling point of nitrogen, as well as the stable production temperatures.

Preparation alone took three days.

When the vessel was completed, Roland went to the chemistry laboratory to personally oversee the town's first oxygen-nitrogen separation experiment.