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Item #: SCP-1688
Object Class: Euclid
Special Containment Procedures: SCP-1688 must be kept in a thermally-sealed chamber equipped with liquid nitrogen jet cooling systems. If an uncontrolled thermal event is imminent (for example, nuclear warheads, or a facility fire and containment breach), or if SCP-1688's mass exceeds defined levels, the chamber must be evacuated of oxygen and flooded with supercooled nitrogen to destroy the sample. SCP-1688's confinement chamber must be no less than 100 meters underground and in a seismically non-active area. No thermally active SCPs or incineration-style disposal units may be kept at the same site as SCP-1688.
Separate protocols exist for SCP-1688 samples in storage and in tests. SCP-1688 in storage should be maintained 25°C and a mass of 1 kg. If the storage chamber exceeds 50°C, the storage sample exceeds 1.5 kg, or the storage sample's growth projections are greater than 0.002 kg/s, the chamber must be flooded. Following incident I-1688-a, SCP-1688 during test should not exceed degrees of 2500°C, nor mass of 100 kg or growth rates of greater than 2 kg/s, without O-5 authorization.
Description: SCP-1688 is a sample of lignite coal with anomalous properties under exposure to high and low temperatures. When burned, it releases heat and carbon equivalent to a standard sample of lignite. However, its mass also grows, producing more anomalous lignite. A 1-kg sample of SCP-1688 left burning with adequate oxygen will increase in mass by 0.17% over a period of 24 hours. This effect can be reversed with low temperatures: When sufficiently cold, the outer surface will flake off as inert jet until the sample is completely destroyed. These flakes expose deeper layers to further cooling. In very small granules (below 0.0031g), the anomalous effect is not present, leading to speculation that this effect is caused in part by crystal structures that are not present at small sizes.
Growth based on temperature appears to be slightly greater than exponential, with an observed lower bound of 81°C. Growth rate at 500°C is 0.000310% per hour, at 1000°C is 0.000922% per hour, at 2000°C is 0.00605% per hour, at 4000°C is 0.0212% per hour, and at 8000°C is 0.1292% per hour. No data from tests above 8000°C are available. Please note that growth occurs within the entire sample, and not just the outer shell: If the interior of a sample was elevated to high enough temperatures, [REDACTED].
Mass decrease begins at -13.0°C and obeys laws similar to radioactive decay. At -18°C, active samples will decay to inert jet with a half-life of 192 minutes. At -37°C, half-life is 27.1 minutes. At -196°C, the boiling point of nitrogen, half-life is 1.49 seconds.
Note: SCP-1688 was discovered by a SCP-funded mining operation in the ███████ province of China, at ██'██N, ███'██E on 01/27/19██. Satellite readings near a known coal seam fire showed that the regional elevation was slowly rising. An expedition discovered the anomalous behavior of the region's lignite, and SCP officials purchased the land under the guise of a British fuel corporation. Aside from samples taken to [REDACTED], all traces of the material were eliminated at a nearby facility using cooled nitrogen between the years of [REDACTED]. No previous mining at this location is known, and exploratory mining in nearby seams has revealed only non-anomalous samples of lignite. At this time, SCP-1688 is believed to be fully contained.
Incident Report I-1688-a: On ██/██/2002, Doctor ██████ attempted extremely high temperature tests of SCP-1688. It has been extrapolated from video recordings that he applied temperatures in excess of 17,000°C, at which point the sample expanded at a rate of 4.7% per second. At this point, the interior temperature of the sample was such that termination of heat application did not slow its growth. Failsafes activated before manual control could be attained, and the test room was successfully flooded with liquid nitrogen. Doctor ██████ and two technicians were lost.
This growth rate is out of proportion to behavior at lower temperature, and extreme caution is advised during high temperature testing.
This would make a great fuel source, if only it was safe to leave alone. Its failure mode could be worse than a nuclear reactor, and God forbid something explodes on-site. I'm not sure I feel safe leaving this intact. ~ Dr. ████