Chemistry (including Biochemistry)/Glowing substances



I hope you can help me out here. Its not homework or anything- more like info I need for a story I'm writing, but I know jack about chemistry...
I'm looking for some natural substance that could, in your opinion, be used to illuminate a dark place such as a tunnel or underground facility without having it burn.
I was thinking of phosphorus but I'm reading it's actually toxic and will spontaneously combust, and I'm looking for something that would be "safe", if you know what I mean.

I will greatly appreciate any help :B

If you are trying for a fiction type story (where electricity and fire are not being used underground), there are plenty of bio-luminescent plants that will probably work:

Here are three examples:

Genetically engineered plants

vessels with water and algae

and good old glow worms

I hope this helps!

Chemistry (including Biochemistry)

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr. Jeffery Raymond


Materials chemistry. Materials science. Spectroscopy. Polymer science. Physical Chemistry. General Physics. Technical writing. General Applied Mathematics. Nanomaterials. Optoelectronic Behavior. Science Policy.


Teaching: General Inorganic Chemistry I & II, Organic Chemistry I & II, Physical Chemistry I, Polymeric Materials, General Physics I, Calculus I & II
My prior experience includes the United States Army and three years as a development chemist in industry. Currently I am the Assistant Director of the Laboratory for Synthetic Biological Interactions. All told, 13 years of experience in research, development and science education.

Texas A&M University, American Chemical Society, POLY-ACS, SPIE

Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nanoletters, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Ultramicroscopy Proceedings of SPIE, Proceedings of MRS, Polymer News, Chemical and Engineering News, Nano Letters, Small,, Angewandte

PhD Macromolecular Science and Engineering (Photophysics/Nanomaterials Concentration), MS Materials Science, BS Chemistry and Physics, Graduate Certificate in Science Policy, AAS Chemical Technology, AAS Engineering Technology

©2016 All rights reserved.