The alchemy lab is the seventh most expensive building in the game, initially costing 75 billion cookies. Each alchemy lab initially produces 1.6 million cookies per second by turning gold into cookies. When fully upgraded, they each produce 409.6 million cookies per second.
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "Actually worth a lot of money."
Essence of dough
Own 5 alchemy labs
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "Extracted through the 5 ancient steps of alchemical baking."
Own 25 alchemy labs
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "The purest form of cacao."
Own 50 alchemy labs
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "Adding this to the cookie mix is sure to make them even more addictive! Perhaps dangerously so. Let's hope you can keep selling these legally."
Own 100 alchemy labs
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "Careful with the dosing - one drop too much and you get muffins. And nobody likes muffins."
Own 150 alchemy labs
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "Built from the rarest of earths and located at the very deepest of the largest mountain, this legendary crucible is said to retain properties from the big-bang itself."
Theory of atomic fluidity
Own 200 alchemy labs
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "Pushing alchemy to its most extreme limits, you find that everything is transmutable into anything else - lead to gold, mercury to water; more importantly, you realize that anything can -and should- be converted to cookies."
Own 250 alchemy labs
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "Well now you've done it. Good job. Very nice. That's 3 galaxies you've just converted into cookies. Good thing you can hop from universe to universe."
The advent of chemistry
Own 300 alchemy labs
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "You know what? That whole alchemy nonsense was a load of baseless rubbish. Dear god, what were you thinking?"
On second thought
Own 350 alchemy labs
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "Disregard that last upgrade, alchemy is where it's at! Your eggheads just found a way to transmute children's nightmares into rare metals!"
Own 400 alchemy labs
Alchemy labs are twice as efficient. "Why do we keep trying to change useless matter into cookies, or cookies into even better cookies? Clearly, the way of the future is to change the people who eat the cookies into people with a greater understanding, appreciation and respect for the cookies they're eating. Into the vat you go!"
The Alchemy Lab of Cookie Clicker parodies one of the most well-known goals of Alchemy, to devise a way to transform lesser metals, such as lead, into higher metals, usually gold.
The economic consequences of transforming the rare element of gold into cookie material has not been fully explored by the game, but it would likely cause inflation in many of the world's currencies. However, given that the player is likely to create cookies at a fast enough rate to end world hunger entirely, a post-scarcity economy may have emerged in its place, potentially limiting the need of a currencies to begin with.
A news tick suggests that gold is not the only precious metal that can be used in Alchemy Labs. Silver can also be transmuted into white chocolate, according to the titles, but there are no other upgrades or achievements that support this. Additionally, the process of converting gold into cookies appears to be reversible.
The "Aqua crustulae" upgrade name means "Water of cookie" in Latin. It's probably is a reference to Latin expression "Aqua vitae" that means "Water of life".