ammonium sulfate

Requested by @affectos – a correction to this post that was published prior to the games’ release.

Throughout the generations, there have always been pokémon that supposedly originated in space: Clefairy, Lunatone, and Beheeyem, for example. Surprisingly, Minior is not one of these extraterrestrials: it did not come from space. Instead, according to the pokédex, it is formed inside the atmosphere.

Strong impacts can knock it out of its shell. This Pokémon was born from mutated nanoparticles. (Moon: Meteor Form)

Originally making its home in the ozone layer, it hurtles to the ground when the shell enclosing its body grows too heavy. (Sun: Meteor Form)

The ozone layer is in the stratosphere, the second layer in Earth’s atmosphere, from around 10-50 kilometers above Earth’s surface. Many airplanes fly in the stratosphere: it’s hardly considered outer space.

Still, Minior is classified as the Meteor Pokémon, so if it’s not from space, what makes it a meteor? The definition of a meteor is “a small body of matter from outer space that enters the earth’s atmosphere.” Generally, they are debris from a larger celestial body, such as a comet, asteroid, or planetoid, that crossed Earth’s orbit some time ago. Earth runs into the debris stream, picking up the particles in Earth’s atmosphere. The friction between the object (a meteoroid) and the atmosphere causes the object to burn up, manifesting itself as a shooting star (a meteor). The few that make it to the ground are called meteorites.  

Minior isn’t from outer space, so by definition Minior is not a meteor. Instead, Minior is a precipitate, a dust particle floating in the atmosphere that clumps together with other particles to grow. Rocky precipitates like Minior are often the seeds for rain clouds (see Bronzong for more detail). However, instead of collecting water until it gets too heavy to stay in the air, Minior collects other dust particles in its crust until it is too heavy to star in the air. 

Interestingly enough, volcanic activity (found in abundance in the Alola region), can add very specific types of precipitates to the atmosphere: the colorful sulfates, or chemicals with at least one sulfur atom and 4 oxygen atoms. Here are some examples:

(From left to right: Cobalt Sulfate, Ammonium-Cerium Sulfate, Nickel Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, and Chromium Sulfate)

The cores of Miniors, then, are likely different kinds of sulfates! The crusts can be anything and everything else it picks up along the way: clay, soot, dust, pollution, all which are very common in the atmosphere everywhere in the world.

Minior does not come from space, so it is not a meteor. Instead, the core is a sulfate precipitate, found commonly in Alola due to the volcanic activity there. Other particles from the atmosphere stick to the core to form its crust.

ademasvincent  asked:

What sort of techniques do scientists use to determine the nutritional facts we take for granted on our store-bought groceries?

Interesting question - it definitely is something we take for granted, I admit that I hadn’t given it too much thought myself! I’m no nutritionist, but I’ve managed to dig up a bit of information.

Let’s start with calories. The calories you see given on food labels are based on the work of Wilbur Atwater, a chemist who, in the late 19th century, determined the energy content of lots of different food items using a respiration calorimeter - a device designed to measure heat released after eating certain foods. 

He was also able to discern from his experiments that protein, fat and carbohydrate contained 4 calories per gram, 9 calories per gram and 4 calories per gram respectively. So, when you look at the labels on your food, they’ll be using this to calculate the precise amount of calories in the food.

However, in order for this to be possible, first the amounts in grams of proteins, fats and carbohydrates must be known. 

The amount of protein in foods can be determined using the Kjeldahl method. This involves boiling a sample in sulfuric acid, then converting the ammonium ions from the resulting ammonium sulfate into ammonia gas. This is then reacted with boric acid (B(OH)3) to produce borate ions, which can be titrated against a strong acid. From this the original nitrogen content can be determined, and from that the original protein content.

Fat content in food is determined via nuclear magnetic resonance. The signal generated by hydrogen atoms in the fat molecules can be separated from that of the other substances and allows the precise content to be calculated.

The value for carbohydrates is usually based on the results for protein and fats - it’s assumed that the sum of these, plus water, taken away from the total mass of the sample gives the mass of carbohydrates as the remainder. 

Hope that answers your question, even if it’s only a brief overview! I tried to keep it relatively simple to keep my response from being novelesque in length, so I’d definitely recommend checking out the links below if you’re interested in more detail.

References & Further Reading

What’s Behind Nutrition Labels? - ChemMatters Magazine

Methods of Food Analysis - FAO Corporate Document Repository