Infinite carbon from portable refinery

Right, so, Carbon converts to condensed carbon in a 2:1 ratio. There is a lossless inversion of the process, getting you 2 carbon from one condensed carbon.
Except the charge of condensed carbon is actually 3 times higher, not just twice. That is of course the main incentive to convert your carbon to condensed carbon, so that is not a problem.

The problem starts when you start fueling your portable refinery with condensed carbon. It takes fifty, and that equates to the same charge as a 150 carbon. So far so clear.
But when you pick up your portable refinery, you get its current charge payed back into your inventory. In the form of carbon.

In other words, feed 50 condensed carbon into the refinery, and pick it up without doing anything, you just converted that to carbon at a ratio of 1:3. You got a full 150 carbon, instead of just 100 as you would have if you’d actually have used the refinery to properly convert it.

You can now take those 150 carbon and convert them back to 75 condensed carbon, 50% more than you had to begin with. Minus a tiny bit you needed to power the conversion.


I noticed that but I literally never had any thought of using it…I mean it takes what…like 10 seconds to mine two trees for over 150 carbon nearly instantly…it takes significantly longer to place down the refiner and faff about by condensing the carbon and then using it fuel the refiner and pick it up and place it down again repeatedly…so, yeah, sure, it is an exploit…except you’re only cheating yourself…literally…because it takes MUCH longer to try to exploit the refiner than it takes to simply gather carbon from the environment.


This is a neat trick I’ll have to incorporate :slight_smile: I’m building a lot of outposts in uncharted systems on my main save.

Generally I’ve been just setting up several carbon planters per base to keep the stocks high and regrowing as I build (and if ferrite is needed I usually buy it by the thousands in stations) and then id been turning half my condensed into regular carbon (need condensed for some decorations).

Knowing I can triple my condensed output will save me some time and resources.

I was twenty bases deep before my main save got bugged, so I’m really hoping they fix that. If not, worst comes to worst and I lose two weeks (50 hours) progress and about seven fully built outposts.

I probably wont want to build for a while if I lose all that progress but at least when I do this will also help with the rebuilding process when my heart heals :joy:

In the meantime ill definitely take advantage of this in the new save I’m playing while waiting for a fix.

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You aren’t tripling condensed carbon…you get less than a third profit of the carbon you put…you put 100 carbon into a refiner and however much carbon as fuel as it takes to turn the 100 into 50 condensed carbon, you then use the 50 condensed to fully fuel a refiner and then you pick up that refiner which puts 150 regular carbon in your inventory(NOT condensed) and the refiner…so you end up with a profit of like 30 or so free regular carbon in several times the time it would have otherwise taken you to just mine a tree for over 70 carbon…so literally useless.

It’s not saving you time…it’s wasting your time.


Bad wording, I obviously meant triple my carbon output from condensed :slight_smile: rather than double it. Don’t need to turn carbon into condensed, my homeworld is bountiful with carbon crystals.

I blame @Sir_oops for the surreal sleep in a cave last night :joy:


It’s probably still faster to mine two trees than to place down a refiner, fill it with condensed carbon and pick it up lol. A lot more more button presses and commands and so on when you can just point pull trigger, wait a couple seconds, and done. Regular carbon doesn’t have that many uses where straight condensed doesn’t suffice either to be honest…mostly just used for building basic stuff, feeding some animals and repairs.

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Carbon Planters, do they still exist? I have been looking for the building blueprint, but not been able to find it. Figured they had become a bit of an easter egg behind closed doors.

Regular Carbon is used quite a bit when you decide to build a base using wood, so a good conversion is useful. I noticed the possibility to exploit the regular refiner, but never used it. I find it easier to just refine Condensed Carbon with Oxygen a couple of times, to then revert to plain carbon as needed. You really gotta love the Oxygen Harvester, as Oxygen is likely the most used resource in my refining processes to avoid having to hunt resources. I honestly can’t remember the last time I cut a tree, or picked a flower. Regular Ferrite is the only thing I occasionally have to mine when it comes to the basic resources.


Well, where I was when I noticed this there wasn’t any carbon…

Or just reading my bad grammar, spelling, and close sounding word replacing. :upside_down_face:

A similar thing happens to di hydrogen. Converting it to gel takes 40. Converting it back gets you 50. You can put 5 gels in a refiner which which gives you 50 di hydrogen more than what it costs to make 5 gels.

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They’re there on my legacy save. Have yet to get them on my new playthrough now you mention it :thinking: but I’m still doing base archive missions at the moment. Seems like something you should receive early on though. Still on farmer specialist quest line too, will let you know if I receive it at all.


I can confirm not receiving the building blueprint for the old Carbon planters on a new save. It does not show in the Guide section for me either. Let me know if it turns out to be different with a pre-NEXT save.


Just to confirm they do exist in legacy saves, you can spy some in the window bottom right here from a screen I shared about two weeks ago


I was looking for those, in my pre NEXT Euclid Etarc hub save,Nowhere to be found. I found them useful in my freighter for charging refiners in my pre NEXT CSFD Calypso save. Oh well, I’ll just get some one I know who has access to them build them for me. hint hint. :grin: