Different elements can also be converted into their other states of matter by heating or by cooling. This, however, may not always lead to the same element in a different state of matter. For example, Sand will melt into Molten Glass, and Algae will turn into Dirt if heated enough. This often is the basis of converting elements from one to the other without the use of specialized machinery. As an example, Sour Gas Boilers convert Crude Oil into Natural Gas using a complicated route: Crude Oil → Petroleum → Sour Gas → Methane (+ Sulfur) → Natural Gas
It should be noted that elements in the game do not necessarily correspond to real chemical elements. For example:
- Iron is both an in-game element and a chemical element.
- Ethanol isn't a chemical element. It's a molecule.
- Abyssalite is a fictional in-game only element.
Depending on which of the Asteroid Types was chosen, different elements can be found. Each of the Biomes in the Asteroid contain one or more types of Raw Mineral and, except for the Tide Pool Biome, Metal Ore or Refined Metal. All Biomes are also made up of one or multiple other solid elements. Furthermore, they may also contain, depending on the type, a Liquid and multiple Gases. In some cases, additional elements may occur due to world generation: An Oil Biome may contain Petroleum due to naturally high temperatures and a Frozen Biome may contain Liquid Chlorine or Liquid Carbon Dioxide if the temperature is low enough.
World Traits add structures containing different elements to the Asteroid.
Abyssalite is encountered as a natural border around biomes, while Neutronium makes up the world borders. Note that Neutronium cannot be excavated and thus not be obtained as an item without cheating.
Geysers can also be found around the asteroid. They are renewable sources of whatever element they emit. While some are uncovered, most geysers are hidden behind Obsidian and Granite. Every Geyser sits on a four tile wide strip of Neutronium.
Finally, some elements can only be encountered in Space. They must be retrieved using a rocket with Cargo Modules. The elements found exclusively in space are used for late-game materials. While other elements can also be found, these do not differ from the ones on the Asteroid; Space merely provides a renewable source for them.
Some elements are not found naturally; they must be produced by machines or by critters. These include, but are not limited to, Refined Metals, Manufactured Materials, Ceramic, Lime and Plastic, just to name a few important ones. This can also be achieved by heating and cooling elements for some materials (see introduction).
Critters also provide a renewable source of some elements found naturally.
Plants do not produce new elements; they produce items made from Genetic Ooze which can be used to make new elements.
List of Elements
For a list of elements and mechanics surround them, see their respective pages: