A very popular way for starting an income stream at the Alliance, Corporation, or individual level is to become involved in the T2 production chain by reacting moon materials. The process requires you to set up a tower with Reactors in either nullsec, wormhole, or lowsec (below 0.4) space. Reacting cannot be performed in highsec space.
The goal is to take Reactants and by either a Simple or Complex reaction process, produce a product further down the T2 production chain.
Here is an example of the costs for setting up a Vanadium Hafnite chain.
1x Caldari Large Tower (230 M)
2x Reactor Array – Simple (5 M each)
6x Silo (4.8 M each)
1x Shield Hardener – Ballistic Deflection (round out the Caldari tower resists)
2x Shield Hardener – Explosion Dampening
2x Shield Hardener – Photon Scattering
144k Vanadium (month worth of reactants for about 284 M)
144k Hafnium (316 M)
Hourly Production Breakdown
200x Vanadium – 400,000 + 200x Hafnium – 439,786 = Total Per Hour – 839,786
400x Vanadium Hafnite – 2,358,188 = Total Per Hour – 2,358,188
Reaction Net Per Hour (Products – Reactants) – 1,518,402
Reaction Net Per Month (Hourly x 720) – 1,093,249,440
Fuel Costs: 370,000,000 (est)
Tower Net Per Month: 723,249,440
Reacting moon materials is a new industry line for me and I have discovered a few items to take into account before you go out and setup your own reaction chains.
I picked a Caldari tower due to the stability of Nitrogen Isotopes as compared to the recent Oxygen Isotope spike caused by Goonswarm’s Ice Interdiction campaign. Yes the Caldari tower lacks the Silo bonus, but the costs of Oxygen Isotopes at 1,000+ ISK/unit drastically eat into profit margins.
You have to take into account POS defense. Hopefully you are a member of a major nullsec powerhouse with Alliance sanctions to run your own unregulated towers. If your tower were to become reinforced (always always always have Strontium Clathrates in your tower), you (hopefully) have the backing of Alliance members and Capital ships for defense.
No you say? For the non-Alliance aligned industrialist, you are limited to lowsec or better yet wormhole space. In lower class wormholes, such as C1-C3s, Capital ships cannot travel through wormholes due to mass limitations so you are limited to being attacked by Battleships or smaller. A popular setup is a C1/C2 with a static to Highsec as this makes getting materials and fuel around very easy. Remember with lowec or wormhole space to take in account the lack of Sovereignty, which will affect fuel consumption rates.
Another point to note is the wild nature of the Jita moon material market. Prices fluctuate as many people are heavily involved in price manipulation. A month after I started my reaction chain, the prices fell and then someone bought out and reset the price of Vanadium Hafnite in Jita right after I put my stock up for sale.
Note the 2M+ unit volume spike. This did work in my favor as my stock was all bought so I now have more liquid ISK but if I had some more Vanadium Hafnite being processed, I could have higher profit numbers as I would be selling at the new 4,300 ISK/unit price.
Real World Profits
Due to my lack of attention to full Silos, and that I estimated my profits closer to a 4,000 ISK/unit sale price, my monthly profits were much smaller than expected. My estimation was about 723 M/month yet I only was able to produce about 384 M/month off of one tower.
The next time I setup a reaction chain, I will not go with one reaction and I will investigate not only Complex Reactions, but chaining your reactions. This is where you take your Resultants and put them into another Reaction chain. From speaking with other Alliance members that do reactions, this seems to be the way to increase your profits.