Friday, March 06, 2009

Negative Pressure : An Important Update .

Negative Pressure : An Important Update .
Andre Willers
6 Mar 2009

An important and critical example of technology bringing about social change .

See Http:// "Negative Presssure: a critical invention"

For actual hardware being developed , see the article "Cunning Plumbing" in NewScientist of 17 Jan 2009 p33 , by Philip Ball .

Philip Ball is a consultant with "Nature" , and has drawn together developments that is as low-key as the ripple of a tsunami in open sea .
The effects will hit us within two years , tops . More likely one year .
And these effects will be massive .

Cheap desalination of seawater has already been developed , and there is a breakneck race as who will be first to fame and fortune of application .
The technology has a host of ancillary applications , from batteries to cleaning up CO2 in the atmosphere .

This is Big Science at its best :
1.They knew it could be done , since trees have been doing it for millions of years .
2.They modeled how it worked on large computing platforms .
3.They then constructed experimental nano-tubes to confirm the model .
4.The cycle of production and improvement via guided R&D is then entered .
The strong point of Big Science . All sorts of things trees never thought of gets added on .

This took about 10 years by reputable scientists , published in peer-reviewed journals.

They are now at production stage .
Acceptance will be immediate .

The main players and their teams :
1.Gerard Hummer of the US National Institute of Health in Bethesda , Maryland .
2.Ben Corry at the University of Western Australia in Perth .
3.Olgica Bakajin of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California .
4.Haiping Fang at the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics .
5.Bruce Hinds at the University of Kentucky in Lexington .

As you can see , there is not a hope in hell of keeping this particular genie bottled up in patent laws .

How the technology works :
Desalination is a good example .
A nanotube of 0.8 nanometers will pass water-molecules at an extremely fast rate using the negative-pressure , water-chain effect .
A chlorine-ion is surrounded by a hydration-shell , which cannot pass through a 0.8 nm tube due to energy considerations .

You pour the seawater onto the membrane of nanotubes and get pure H2O at the bottom . Rinse the sludge and repeat .

No high pressure or energy is needed as in reverse-osmosis .

What has been done (as far as publicly known from the article)
Ben Corry (Journal of Physical Chemistry B(vol 112 , p1427) ) has constructed nanotubes of 0.92 nm diameter that block out 95% of ions , about 500% more efficient than other present systems .
In other words , a cheap , effective desalination method has been developed .
Industrial application awaits , something our society is very good at .

What has been modeled theoretically :
1.The charge distribution around the nanotube can be configured that it act as pump .
Or vice-versa , as generating a current . (Haiping Fang)
2.Control molecules copied from biological systems have been tacked onto the ends of the tubes . These can act as valves or pumps .(Hummer,Hinds)
3.It works for gases as well (Bakajin)

And much more .

The Impact .
Massive and fast .
On the order of the introduction of internal combustion engines ,but faster .
We are not talking about some putative technology , but a proven , scientifically reputable technology anyone can duplicate .

The present little squabble about futures (ie the financial crisis) , will simply be swallowed up .

1.Despair and hope .
This will have the biggest immediate effect .
Humans optimize on their grandchildren .
They also read the predictions of global warming , the uninhabitability of zones around the equator .
This engendered a real sickness in the human noo-sphere .
Those who have , scrabble to keep it . Those who don't , scrabble to survive .
And it hasn't even happened ,yet !

Now , those with no hope for their descendants suddenly have a viable alternative to attempted emigration to more temperate zones .

Areas whose populations know they are destined for the scrapheap according to global warming and climate change predictions , will suddenly have new prospects . Literally billions of people will be immediately affected by that most insidious of viruses , hope .

Things might very well be better at home .

Ho-ho-ho !
What I am laughing at is that US is at present building walls to keep Mexican immigrants out because of projected shortages in their own society . Instead , the shortage will be a shortage of labour and they will have to do a fast u-turn .
Might have to use the wall to keep them in !

The same for Europe vis-à-vis Africa and the East .

2.Cheap Desalination
California's governor (Schwarzenegger) has declared a state of emergency due to lack of water in March 2009 . They have run out of water . Now .A prolonged drought has decreased their water for personal and irrigation use to below survival level . They have a choice of drinking or starving .
Or desalinate .
There are immense pressures and rewards . Literally , extinction or billions of dollars .
What do you think will happen ?

All coastal , desert areas will jump in value .
There would be dangers of pollution in enclosed bays or seas (like the Med)

3.That pesky global warming .
CO2 can be cleansed by using this technology(since it can be used for gases .)

If cars (or electric power plants) use solar energy in conjunction with this technology to generate their own hydrocarbon fuel from atmospheric carbon and water , the danger is quite real that the CO2 levels will fall too low and there would be a threat of an ice age .
This is a real threat , since it would be more profitable .
The same factors driving present global warming would then be driving global cooling .

And it can happen quickly .

4.Maxwell's demons .
They should be possible by using valves at the ends of the nanotubes .

5 Andre's demons (see "Negative Kelvin"
Maybe ,

6. Energy generation .
Putting a Haiping Fang membrane in reverse into a water or air current will generate electrical power .

7. Goodbye platinum .
The car's exhaust gases can be much more efficiently re-utilized .
Unused energy can be converted to a hydrocarbon and fed back into the fuel system .

8. Decent batteries .
Hopefully .

9. Forced Market Stochastic Resonance .
Markets are by nature forward looking and optimistic . But they can get into a tailspin
If they do , add uncertainty of an optimistic nature . The optimistic elements in the market resonate with the added optimistic stochastic elements . The optimistic elements can be identified (or even forced into existence) .

These are basically stocks at a discount to their future value .
(Ask Warren Buffett : he uses the same mechanism in virtual mode .)

The knowledge of this particular nano- technology is already out there . Other people follow these technologies . I can already detect ripple effects (ie Non-linear effects .) The present crash is not following the prescribed pattern .

For example , Sub-prime mortgages on desert ground might suddenly be very valuable . This warps the very nature of getting rid of them . Nobody wants to be remembered as the one that sold Manhattan Island for a handful of beads .
The uncertainty not only slows things down , but also raises the average value of all mortgages .
In the meantime , astute investors have been keenly watching stochastic peaks . Where does the resonance occur ? Buy . It will not be the cheapest , but will have the promise of most future growth .
So , even supposedly junk mortgages have a value .
Astute investers buy supposedly worthless mortgages , to get their hands on some parcels nobody else has seen the value of .

This is what is occurring now . The crash is not smooth enough . People with capital are cherry-picking assets they expect to appreciate more than what is already discounted . And these assets are in the wrong places .

Cars are a good example . The automotive industry should have been junked . Why not ? Because , with the new technology most of it is quite usable .

Multi-location .
With the resurgence of hope , many (if not most) of the emigrants keep two homes .(A common phenomenon in South Africa) . A shack at home , and a residence where they work . They need transport between the two .
Also , an inter-urban transport at work .
So , the future Mexican worker in the US will need two cars .
But the shack is usually in a rural area , where the roads are decaying and there is no prospect of improvement .
These are not poor people in the normal sense .
But they do need a real 4x4 .

Can you see the dichotomy ? Somebody suspects that there is a strong new market for automobiles . But it will only grow under a set of assumptions at odds with the present .

Urbanization might even reverse , or at least , bi-locate .
All over the world . A really big market for real 4x4's .
(Note the suburban SUV in the US and SA)

It seems that the whole ball-game has changed , but most players have not even heard the whistle , never mind read the new rules .

But beware .
Once the formal announcement is made (which I expect around July or Aug 2009) the shit will really hit the fan .
A tsunami .
Remember watching the tsunami of Dec 2004 and thinking " But this can't really be happening . 250 000 people drowning before our eyes . " But it can . And this change is already happening .

Or the markets losing half their value .

Or bouncing back .

The healing of the noo-sphere will release enormous amounts of capital . Also , entrepreneurial energy .
Fancy talk for saying that a third of the human race can stop worrying that their grand-children are doomed and they better start worrying about how to increase their share of the wealth .

And so it goes .

Andre .

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