Greenthoughts is a page for some Activism ideas and solutions that can be addressed and implemented. At current, there are 4 topics on the Greenthoughts platform. See the project page for more info.
One has to do with the current ongoing environmental hazard and waste generated by gasoline nozzles at fueling stations.
One addresses the waste created by inefficient food jars, and generally any inefficient food containers.
One addresses the continual decrease in the quality of public water supply, and how it relates to Chlorine in drinking water.
One is an idea related to trading card protective sleeves, to improve sleeves and cut down on waste.
a) Atoms are the starting point of chemistry and are primarily modeled on the nano-scale. Chemistry does not exist inside the atom. Even though pure unadulterated nanotechnology would be the at will movement and exact placement of any desired individual atom from a physical perspective, large strides can be made by considering en-masse nano reorganization at the elemental level from a chemical perspective. Say for example I want a roast beef sandwich with au jus to materialize in front of me. Well, in my nano machine of course. Then I am going to need a ready supply of all the elements in said food.
b) In the case of food I’ll most likely need a bunch of organic chemistry atoms such as carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and what not. However there are only about 80 natural non radioactive elements so why not have a ready supply of whatever you need. Boron, lithium, chlorine, iodine, or whatever. Well, all the elements we need already exist in abundance in the things we already have. So an efficient question might be to ask, what is the simplest method of breaking down everything we have, organizing it to their corresponding groups, and reassembling where needed. An 80-90% “boiling point” oven could solve the first two stages of the task; breaking down and organization.
c) “Boiling Point” refers to the concept of the ovens functionality. In solid and liquid forms, matter is not usually at the individual nano atomic level but at the micro molecular level. However, as higher and higher energy gases, most substances rapidly approach smaller molecules and continue to breakdown towards free atoms. At a high enough temperature one reaches plasma. 80-90% of substances turn to gas above 10,000 degrees. At these energies, a gas easily mixes to homogeneity, so we have solved step one of breaking stuff down. Step two, sorting the stuff, is as easy as letting the oven cool slowly. This should allow layers of like materials to sort out.
d) The layers will be striated and mostly homogeneous. The oven would be a closed oven; no gas is considered pollution – just something waiting to be reorganized. There are 3 points worth mentioning about this idea. One, is that this process has not been tested fully by any information I have been able to find. We must see what settles out at different temperatures with both a natural mix (representing real landfill input), and a pure elemental mix consisting of all natural elements in abundance (so no one stoichiometric reaction equation becomes saturated). Two, is that there will still be byproducts from this process that need further processing, however, these will be “organized” byproduct that can be easily transferred to a next process. Furthermore, the disorganization of the system from initial product to settled stage has decreased by some large percent. And three, until recently, I had not found anyone doing anything remotely like this, even though it is a simple idea, but have now found Startech on Feb 2005. Startech has created a plasma oven version that currently runs at 35,000 degrees, has a diverse – but still limited input, and a product specific output of about 6 substances as best as I can tell.
e) The Startech oven is a good start, but it may still be slightly too complicated. I think a similar result could be reached at lower temps and that a different cooling process should be applied. They cool quickly to avoid the formation of dioxins and flavins. However, with a different process these might form differently or not at all. A slow cool would seems interesting to me. In either case, I don’t see these as a waste products in the long run, but rather just something else to be sorted. For example, the dioxins if still a problem in that form would go on to stage 2 processing. The development of these 2nd stages, and subsequent stages, would be a source of developmental growth within the field of resource management.
When I was in school there was a large book of 1,000 pages or so that was a molecule and compound dictionary. It was pretty well done, however, I always noticed it was organized subjectively by topics in chemistry. I thought it would be valuable and interesting to see a version that was organized analytically by the periodic table and the overall number of each element in a substance. At that time I jotted down some ideas of how that would work. This could use some expansion and updating, but the general idea remains.
1. Ordered Chemical Resource Encyclopedia (OChRE) – As of 3-22-05, most chemical substance nomenclature (naming) manuals I’ve consulted use categories and subcategories to name specific elemental combinations. For example, to find the names of NaCl (salt) or FeO2 (Iron Oxide or Rust), the book may be broken into groups like metals, alkaloids, or hydrocarbons. One seems to need a certain level of chemistry to use these resources. A means of organizing this information in a more methodical manner uses the existing order of the periodic table combined with combinatorics (the mathematical art of combinations and permutations).
a) Levels of the OChRE – All substances would be classified simply by their elemental totals. H, hydrogen, would come first. Next, He, Li and Bo follow as well as all other single elements. After all the single combinations comes the 2 element category, then 3, then 4, then 5, and so on. Ionic and isotopic combinations would fall under the same elemental totals. The OChRE accounts for this by either placing this information in order after the elemental total being looked at or by simply pointing to a separate index for that compound. Personally, I find it easier to think of the pointers, which would eventually lead to all known substances and their order. For example, if I had H2O2 (Hydrogen Peroxide) and (H2O2)-1 and even +1H2O2-1 (the last two I just made up for example), all would be under H2O2. To find the molecule’s specific qualities, the global reference for H2O2 would send you to a different book in the encyclopedia, say the local book specializing in only compounds/molecules H2He through H2Mg.
b) Using human visual parameters and the maximum size of a molecule to limit the size of the OChRE. – Fortunately, OChRE’s size seems limited to a maximum number of combinations. The human eye can distinguish pinpoint sizes not much smaller than thin hair or a pin point. Let’s estimate this between one tenth and one twentieth of a millimeter (5*10-5 meters). Then, since hydrogen is the smallest atom, we take its familiar Bohr radius (.0529 nm = 5.29*10-11) and do a simple volume calculation. One finds this equals about 8*10^17 atoms in a group before the human eye could see it. That’s 800,000,000,000,000,000 atoms, and wow does that seem like a lot. In fact though, a more accurate measure of the limit of number of elements in one compound would be lower for a few reasons. First, all other atoms are larger than hydrogen and therefore would take less to become visible. Also, the atoms are slightly spaced further decreasing the total. Yet another limiter are chemical relations that are already in place governing molecule react ability, stability, configuration and such.