What happens if environment with abundant protium but little metals is heated to a high temperature? Are there any paths for metal synthesis besides triple alpha?
Obviously triple alpha is the only option if protium has been thoroughly exhausted.
But it is a difficult process:
first, alpha+alpha -> Be-8+gamma
usually Be-8 undergoes alpha fission in 7*10ˇ-17 seconds
rarely next step within these 10ˇ-16 seconds:
Be-8+alpha -> C-12+gamma
Now, if protium is not exhausted, what are the branches of pp chain?
Up to He-3, pp chain is standard:
p+p -> d+e++nue
p+p+e -> d+nue
rapidly followed by
d+p -> He-3+gamma
But from He-3 there are 4 options:
He-3+p -> alpha+e++nue
He-3+p+e -> alpha+nue
He-3+He-3 -> alpha+p+p
He-3+alpha -> Be-7+gamma
From Be-7, there are 2 main branches:
Be-7+e -> Li-7+nue
Li-7+p -> alpha+alpha
Be-7+p -> B-8+gamma
B-8 -> alpha+alpha+e++nue
But note that all these Be and Li isotopes are long-lived compared to Be-8!
Even B-8 has lifetime of 0,8 seconds, and Be-7 has lifetime in months (depending on electron abundance).
So, considering alpha is abundant, could you have side branches of these reactions?
Be-7+alpha -> C-11+gamma
Be-7+alpha -> B-10+p
Li-7+alpha -> B-11+gamma
Li-7+alpha -> B-10+n
Li-7+alpha -> Be-10+p
B-8+alpha -> N-12+gamma
B-8+alpha -> C-11+p?