Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Carbonmonoxideated Drinks

Why should you be the only one to feel bad the next day ?
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Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, it's necessary to invite to a party one of those cheerless bastards (or worse, a couple) that Don't Drink. We're not talking about designated drivers here (bless them), but the sort of smug, sanctimonious buggers who stand around all evening with their smug, sanctimonious prissy smiles and their holier-than-thou attitude which comes from knowing they'll feel fine in the morning, sipping their fizzy alcohol-free drinks.

At the next party, why not serve them - instead of their usual carbonated beverage - one of BorgCo's new range of Carbonmonoxideated beverages. Externally indistinguishable from the normal product, the liquid has also been supersaturated with carbon monoxide by a special new secret BorgCo process, to overcome the problem that CO is much less soluble in water than CO2.

Every time they drink, they will inhale or swallow carbon monoxide - fortunately the stuff's pretty toxic even in small doses, and the symptoms are described as "headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, lethargy and a feeling of weakness."

Sounds like they're going to have a hangover tomorrow. And they didn't even have anything to drink. How terribly unfair life can be.

8th of 7, Mar 06 2010

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       Or use laughing gas...
Ling, Mar 06 2010
  

       Or butanol, if that turns out to be true.
nineteenthly, Mar 06 2010
  

       Just curious, but would carbon monoxide actually effervesce in aerated solution like CO2 without the additional oxygen atom to lose? If so, I could be persuaded to like this idea.
jurist, Mar 06 2010
  

       This is before doing any Googling:   

       Carbonated water is an aqueous solution of carbonic acid, which doesn't exist on its own anyway, where carbon dioxide is constantly separating and rejoining. Carbon monoxide in water would - well, do what? It seems to have a bit of a valency issue.   

       I will now Google.
nineteenthly, Mar 06 2010
  

       at this point you might as well be dropping roofies on your guests.
AutoMcDonough, Mar 06 2010
  

       Carbon monoxide is of the order of a hundred times less soluble in water than carbon dioxide, roughly half as soluble as oxygen and somewhat less so than nitrogen, so the best that could be managed would presumably be something like the dead glass of water with bubbles at the sides of the container after a few hours. If it starts off at freezing point and is drunk, its solubility will fall as it warms to body temperature. A litre of water at freezing point can hold forty-three milligrammes of carbon monoxide. At body temperature, that falls to around twenty-one, so per litre the water will liberate twenty-two milligrammes. Carbon monoxide will convert half the haemoglobin at six hundred-odd ppm, but the questions are, does it get absorbed via the gastric or intestinal mucosa, and how does gastric pH affect its solubility?   

       Assuming no absorption via the GIT and five litres (i.e. stomach capacity) of water at freezing point, raised to body temperature, a saturated aqueous solution of CO will liberate around a tenth of a gramme of gas. A mole of gas is about twenty-two litres, which would be twenty-eight grammes in this case. A tenth of a gramme is about eighty ml at STP. The trouble with doing the maths beyond that is that the toxicity is quoted in ppm in the air over a period of time.   

       Mean tidal volume is seven ml/kg body mass. Healthy resting rate of breathing is supposedly a quarter of the resting heart rate, so that's about eighteen per minute. I weigh seventy-five kilos, so at rest i would get through nine and a half litres of air a minute if i breathed the way most people do (which i don't - long story). One hundred ppm or more is hazardous, supposedly, which is under a millilitre over a one minute period. Since CO has the same density as nitrogen, it mixes well with air, but this is expired air which is fourteen percent carbon dioxide, so it may tend to rise to the top.   

       Having said all that, i'm aware that mercury per os is nowhere near as toxic as inhaled mercury vapour, though i presume it's not very well absorbed. So:   

       * Would it be absorbed easily via gastric or intestinal mucosa?   

       * If it were burped, is it likely to get inhaled that way?   

       * What effect would gastric pH have?   

       I would intuitively expect it to be extremely toxic, but i can see an argument for it not being very toxic at all. It definitely wouldn't be fizzy, and you'd need something like a soda stream to get any in at all.
nineteenthly, Mar 06 2010
  

       It is fizzy; the drink is also saturated with CO2 after the CO is pumped in.
8th of 7, Mar 06 2010
  

       Wouldn't that lower the solubility of the CO?
nineteenthly, Mar 06 2010
  

       Not significantly.
8th of 7, Mar 06 2010
  

       I still want to know, well two things. One is how poisonous a gas has to be to kill you if you burp it, and the other is if it would get absorbed via the GIT.   

       What about the pH? Carbonated water would be more acidic. Would that then make the CO more soluble?
nineteenthly, Mar 06 2010
  

       [8/7] //the drink is also saturated with CO2 after the CO is pumped in// I thought the idea here was to *substitute* toxic CO for harmless CO2 as the fizz. That has a certain elegance, but if you have to carbonate with CO2 anyway to make the fizz, and you're just adding additional CO -- well, you might as well use some more straightforward poison. I assume you regard permanent brain damage as a desirable side-benefit of CO intoxication? If so then methanol might suit you. Otherwise I'd suggest nitroglycerine (if you could get it to dissolve) or ethanol.   

       [19thly] //how poisonous a gas has to be to kill you// I think the idea is to give people hangovers, not to kill them. You must be confusing this with the railroad crossing ha-ha. (By the way, your anno is a real tour de force.)
mouseposture, Mar 07 2010
  

       I think [mouseposture] has a point (at least in his first paragraph).
jurist, Mar 07 2010
  

       Thanks, [mouseposture]. I don't know about that, since i left out any dose info. I was aiming at lethal because if it turned out that it had to be deadly in order to work at all, there wouldn't be much point in continuing. I think a different gas would work better but i like the elegance if it can be done. There are other oxocarbon compounds. Maybe they'd be more suitable and less toxic. I would plump for carbon suboxide because its boiling point is above the freezing point of water and i wonder if it's miscible. It might be quite toxic and tastes of mustard i think.
nineteenthly, Mar 07 2010
  
      
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