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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Plastic Stronger than Steel ?

New plastic is claimed to be as strong as steel, lighter and transparent from

By mimicking a brick-and-mortar molecular structure found in seashells, University of Michigan researchers created a composite plastic that's as strong as steel but lighter and transparent.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

HBR's Conversation Starters

I am glad Harvard Business Online (HBR online) got in touch.

I have not explicitly chatted about management for some time, although many of my posts imply, more or less calling upon "Corporate Social Responsibility" (CSR).

The "Conversation Starter" for HBR's new online approach (global by definition labelled "GlobalBus" on their web link string) thought I might be interested by their leader post "Why Robert Reich Is Wrong About Corporate Social Responsibility", by Mike Kramer.

By some coincidence this theme appeared to me, to be related to my post "Healthy Steel? Smart Steel. " earlier this week 13/09/2007 on these blog pages.

Without any further ado, I whole heartedly recommend reading M. Kramer's "conversation starter" , its links and ensuing discussion. [Link]

I further recommend even to those deprived of the full review paper(s) to follow the excellent summary and links to related papers.

Action: Change the title of my post from "Healthy Steel? Smart Steel to "Healthy steel is smart steel" & its corrollary "Smart steel is Healthy steel".

Many thanks Harvard, Kramer, The Economist and "The numerous conversation contributers".

Ref: Theodore Zelden's essay "On Conversation"

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Monday, September 17, 2007


An important step forward, to define Materials Chemistry, was taken by The Royal Society for Chemistry (RSC) at the Sept 12, 2006, workshop. The workshop brought together almost 50 delegates, leading experts in the field and published online 5 pre-workshop presentations, free to download making a valuable ebook on the subject. The practising experts, renowned Chemists, Materials Scientists, Technologists and Engineers confronted with the problems arising within the materials and chemical sciences, technologies and engineering drew up key questions and attempted to provide adequate answers.

The rational and the thought processes which arose during the meeting are in themselves highly instructive and educational.

-Questions such as why focus on Materials Chemistry?
-What distinguishes Materials Chemistry from simple chemical substances?
-Define materials chemistry in a few words
and give some examples of areas of research that should be included.
-Should there be a distinction between functional and structural materials in the definition?
-Does materials chemistry cover both?
-What is the difference between materials chemistry and materials science?
-What isn’t materials chemistry?
-What should not be included in the definition.

Unfortunately the "ebook" is nolonger available online via the RSC site as far as I can tell. I do not believe this is e-mateial is highly sensitive!

The RSC Workshop ebook may be downloaded at the following links, nolonger:

Why focus on Materials Chemistry?
Within the broad family of chemical sciences, it transpires that an increasingly high percentage of publications are classified as Materials Chemistry (cf. Leonard V. Interrante's presentation, Link in Pdf format)
laying claim to the stature of a distinct discipline, in practice involving multi-disciplinary or interdisciplinary skills.

The need for a definition.

The inherent complexity involved makes the task of defining the subject equally complex and therefore even more necessary in order to express the ideas, concepts and science involved as succinctly as possible, to further the recognition of the discipline in itself and so provide assistance to publishers and funding agencies.

In the words of Peter Day who asks rhetorically,

“Why bother about definitions? “
And gives the following reply
“- For clarity: a new cross-cutting discipline
-To give materials chemistry a place in the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) "
Cf. P. Day’s presentation, Link in Pdf format

NB. IUPAC Link Compendium of Chemical Terminology

Material Chemistry Defined?

To date the discipline has developed organically and to a large extent, the common idea of what constitutes materials chemistry is circularly linked to the type of work done by “materials chemists”.

Typical areas in which materials chemist work are as follows:
-application can be a prime element in motivation
-Areas of application cover:
-structural or functional
-designing and processing materials
-Characterisation and analysis

What is a Material?

It emerged that “The Key to progress in the defining of materials chemistry was to define what constitutes a material in contrast to just a chemical.

In the words of Paul O’Brien

‘So when does chemistry become materials chemistry?
Materials chemistry must, pedantically, have something to do with a material as
opposed to a chemical.’

O’Brian goes on to illustrate this by quoting from the eminent Metallurgist Robert W. Cahn’s book ‘The Coming of Materials Science’, (p253) Ed. Pergammon, Oxford, 2001.

“The key to understanding the formation of p and n type semiconducting material came from careful work in which metallurgists correlated properties with traces of dopants. One of the key features of the properties of semiconductors is that conventionally chemically and crystallographically identical samples can have different properties because of traces of group 3 or 5 dopants." R. W. Cahn.

The dictionary defines a material as “a physical substance from which things can be made from”, quite unsuitable for the aims of such a workshop whose members represent the material chemistry community, whose practise today involves long years of study and practice, whose responsibility involves publishing, peer reviewing, advising on and facilitating access to funding, defining the fields within the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry. A more technical and profound definition was obviously called for.

Should there be a distinction between functional and structural materials in our definition?

The experts considered the following

Concepts Essential to Define Materials “chemistry”

-Structure & properties
-Design ( refers to design at the atomic or molecular level)

For example:
A material has properties which give it a particular useful application,
structural, as with a building material,
functional, as with materials used to make devices.
(Electronic, optical or magnetic)

Duncan W. Bruce gave examples of liquid crystal materials chemistry including markets, basic molecular structures and the functions for which these materials are used. Link_Pdf format


A material is generally thought of as an organised phase where interactions between particles play a large role, although clearly there are cases where amorphous phases are also crucial..

Material versus Chemical Substance
The properties of a material emerge from the way these sub-units are put together:
-Whilst a single molecule will have properties related to its chemical
structure which remain constant, the properties of a material are dependent on how its sub-units are assembled.

Properties can, and as in Metallurgy, often, arise from structural defects (materials made of the same chemical sub-units can have different properties e.g. the properties of polymers for example depend on their supramolecular and meso/morphological structure.

The relationship between structure and property could be used to define a material and differentiate it from a chemical.

Compare for example:
-a material would be a nano-tube, whose properties will vary depending on its structure.
-a molecule of benzoic acid, which is a chemical whose properties are related only to its chemical make-up.

The difference between materials science and materials chemistry

There are areas of contention when trying to define the sub-discipline materials chemistry.

Would catalysis be considered part of the field?

Homogeneous catalysis would certainly not fit the definition but would heterogeneous catalysis? The synthesis of certain types of novel catalyst materials could fit parameters by which materials chemistry has been described.

Materials chemistry does share some (many?) common elements with Materials Science with perhaps differences in scale?

But often the scale of elements studied differ, with materials chemistry being concerned with a molecular understanding of materials, whilst materials science looking at a larger scale.

Materials chemistry can be concerned with properties up to the micron scale.

It must be recognised that there is a big overlap and many materials scientists will be working to the same end as many materials chemists. Materials chemistry certainly requires an understanding of the principles of both chemistry and materials science and sometimes physics and biology.

The interdisciplinary nature of the work is an important element that may differentiate materials chemistry from general chemistry but strengthens its relationship with material science.

What isn’t materials chemistry:

Synthesising any material was not materials chemistry but
just chemical synthesis. Synthesis is a major part of what chemists do.

The sub-discipline materials chemistry must include an element of
application, function or novel design that is beyond the simple chemical reactivity of
the species in question.


Design refers to design at the atomic or molecular level, design at a greater length scale becomes Materials Science and Engineering. Work on novel materials that may show potential applications must be included as materials chemistry as chemists may generate new types of materials with previously unknown properties leading to unimagined applications

Conceptual maps [Link TBD]

The following conceptual map outlines are
-Chemistry subject map
-Materials chemistry subject map

Some working definitions of materials chemistry

“Chemistry related to the preparation, processing and analysis of materials”*

• Preparation: The synthesis of new materials; development of improved routes to known materials
• Processing: modifying materials to enhance their utility (e.g., dying, coating, nanoparticle
generation, etc. )
• Analysis: everything from characterization of structure at multiple length scales to the
theoretical interpretation of behaviour
*L.V. Interrante, “Materials Chem, a New Sub-discipline”, MRS Bulletin, Jan., 1992, p. 4.

Chemistry of Advanced Materials - Ch 1: Introductory Terms and Concepts
The definition of materials as “substances having properties which
make them useful in machinery, structures, devices and products*”, connects materials with function and through that function, utility
*M. Cohen, Ed., Mats. Sci. & Eng.: Its Evolution, Practice and Prospects; Mater. Sci. Eng. 37(1) (1974); M.B. Bever, Encyclopedia of Mats. Sci. & Eng., Vol. 1,(1986)

Selected Results from a Google Search for Materials Chemistry

• Univ. Wisconsin Chemistry website
– Materials Chemistry can be defined as the branch of chemistry aimed at the preparation,
characterization, and understanding of substances/systems that have some specific useful function (or potentially useful function)
• Washington Univ. Chemistry website
– Materials chemistry involves the synthesis and study of materials that have interesting and potentially useful electronic, magnetic, optical, and mechanical
• Univ. of Oregon Chemistry website
– Materials chemistry is a relatively new discipline centered on the rational synthesis of novel functional materials using a large array of existing and new synthetic methods

Summary of working definition of materials chemistry as suggested at the workshop.

Materials Chemistry is:

- the chemistry of the design, synthesis and characterisation of assemblies of molecules whose properties arise from interactions between them.

- is the understanding, synthesis, processing and exploitation of compounds or substances in their assembled form.

- is the synthesis, processing, characterisation, understanding and exploitation of compounds that have useful or potentially useful properties and applications.

The RSC Workshop ebook may be downloaded at the following links:


Material Chemistry Maps (Paul O’Brian)Link Pdf format

Why bother about definitions? (Peter Day)Link Pdf format

Liquid Crystals by Duncan W.Bruce, Link Pdf format

IUPAC's role by Tony West, Link Pdf format

Statistics, References to Materials Chemistry... by Leonard V. Interrante, Link Pdf format

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Material Innovations- Healthy Steel? - Smart Steel. "Healthy steel is smart steel" and it's corrollory

A "smart" steel with built-in antibacterial protection.

My initial interest in "healthy steel" and healthy steelmaking goes back quite a bit, in fact to my work as a process metallurgist in special steelmaking. My initial education as a graduate metallurgist, processes and products (integrity) provided me with a firm grounding for my early career much of it as a process R&D metallurgist and materials scientist and engineer. My encounter with the inherently dangerous environment of "liquid steels and special alloys, at temperatures where metal vapours abound and to which one must, literally, add powder chemical fluxing agents, exothermic powders, which give off heat at during and/or after the casting process made me more and more aware of the need to improve my knowledge of health issues and increase my expertise in what I see as "worthwhile and responsible application of science".

I recorded in a ChemWeb posting (pre-blog days) some work on sanitary surfaced steel obtained by very thin, plasma deposited, layers of silver(Ag).

Much more recently, early this year 2007, in fact, I submitted a rough ideas outline for lower coast processes for sanitary surfaced steel currently stainless steel is the preferred material. (Innocentive)[Link html]. Unfortunately I did not win but gained some feed-back on the known weaknesses of my ideas. I discovered in the the Innocentive Challenge search process just what a back seat I had taken on these specialisms for too long!

Innovation-A smart steel with built-in antibacterial protection.

While optimising reading and exploitation of my Institute [Link html] house journal, "Materials World", I came across this "Healthy Steel" report in the news section.

Let me share with you, the innovative steel formulation below and encourage readers not to hesitate to make further comments on this approach, make suggestions or supply further information.

A world first in plating strip steel according to the manufacture [Link html].

Known as Hybrel (TM), [Link html], the new product mixes various particles with a metal coating – such as tin, nickel and copper - so forming hybrid coatings that combine the properties of both the metal and the particles.

These hybrid coatings are produced electrochemically. Particles, such as plastics, ceramics, glass beads, lubricants, and even colours, scents, and micro-encapsulated luminescent materials, combine at the metal surface at the same time as the metal coating is formed and are incorporated into the metal layer. It is also possible to simultaneously deposit two different types of particles into the same layer.

The particles and metal combine to create a variety of surface properties. For example, metal strip with a water or dirt repellent surface that is also highly conductive to heat and electricity.

Some potential applications include self-lubricating bearings and vibration-resistant engine gaskets.

Nota Bene: I decided to be more directive in my title following Harvard Business Online's email bringing clarification to the "Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR" theme.
"Healthy steel is smart steel" and its corollary "Smart steel is healthy steel".

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

CAE, Computer Assisted Engineering & Smart Welds

Innovations: CAE, Computer Assisted Engineering for improved weld performance and durability assessment.

It is claimed that:
* New CAE tool will help OEM’s optimise component design
* Integrated approach will help reduce new model development time and costs.

A major international steel company, has developed a new computer aided engineering (CAE) approach to weld durability and performance assessment, which they believe will help auto-makers optimise component design and weld performance in vehicle structures.

The manufacturer[Link] html has developed a technique that could automate the complex task of generating an optimum weld pattern for a given vehicle component at the lowest welding cost whilst still meeting all manufacturing and performance targets. The CAE tool is reported to manage, assess and analyse multiple variables of weld patterns all in one single routine, thereby allowing engineers to quickly optimise the design for durability.

Auto makers today are under growing pressure to bring new cars to market faster and are increasingly using Computer-Aided Engineering in almost all areas of the development process and car design. However, until now, CAE has not been widely used in the area of weld performance and durability assessment.

The new CAE tools were developed by the company's Automotive Engineering, based at Warwick University, Director, Jon King and the company’s Research, Development and Technology (RD&T) operation based in IJmuiden, Holland synergising the company’s extensive materials expertise with a core knowledge in vehicle structural performance.”

This approach is felt to be unique and coupled with the company's continued investment in the latest IT systems that are required to power state-of-the-art CAE tools, has resulted in a new automated process that will significantly speed up weld design modification and optimisation leading to improved component performance and ultimately offering our OEM customers the ability to reduce vehicle development time and cost

Identificateurs Technorati : , ,

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Metallurgy of CO2 absorption with resulting Hydrogen gas production _Wedge a War

The first post on this theme was entitled "Wedge-A-War: Any Old Iron?, Corrosion & Natures Processes, the latter "Nature's Processes" being the title of a book of poems by John Updike. It draws attention to the role of corrosion of iron in a wet (humid-H20) carbon dioxide (CO2) environment resulting in the production of iron carbonate and hydrogen gas as the products of the reaction. This is repeated in the chemical form below together with a little poem written for the occasion. Full references were given in the previous entry "Wedge-a-War. Any Old Iron?"

Fe(s)+ H2O(l) +CO2(g)=> FeCO3(s) +H2(g)
iron +water+carbon dioxide => iron carbonate + H2
(where s=solid, l=liquid, g=gas.)

Let the Heavenly Steel Chorus hear -
Metallurgists, Steelmakers, Geologists, dear
Chemical Engineers and Ecologist's plea.
From humble steelmaking, sometime war-mongering,
To white knight planet saviour - eco-engineering,
For "Now's the time and now's the hour" for CO2 sinking,
For scientific method and controlled tinkering.
The above corrosive reaction begs the question:
Any old iron?

ref: to initial back-ground from "Corrosion Mechanisms & Control in Hydrocatbon Exploration and Production Operations", by Dr. Dan Kirkwood in the now, out of print; "Journal of the Metallurgical Club -Strathclyde University" 1992-93, p43-58.

In fact it is well known that several other metals behave in a similar fashion in these matters. A fairly recent reference to such metals and reactions has been echoed by Kurzweil [Link] reported initially and at more length in CNet news [Link].

Both tech watchers, Kurzweil and CNet report two approaches:

I. Involves Aluminium catalysed,dis-inhibited by Gallium,The method is outlined, costs estimates given, patents filed and a company, "AlGalCo", created to exploit the inventions and innovations.

"Purdue University professor Jerry Woodall has discovered a way to make hydrogen out of a reaction of water and an alloy of aluminium and gallium. Woodall estimates that the technique could produce fuel that would compete with gas at $3 a gallon (assuming current prices for aluminium, which are above $1 a pound). Woodall considers that the higher actual fuel cost could be off-set by the higher efficiencies of hydrogen engines.

The Purdue Research Foundation holds title to the primary patent, which has been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is pending. An Indiana start-up company, AlGalCo, is licensing the patent and will try to commercialize the idea."

II. Involves Magnesium. The company Ecotality associated with the Jet Propulsion Lab (USA) managed by CalTech [Link] to exploit the the so called Hydratus principle[Link]. More on the uses of magnesium may be found at's[Link]

III. Involves extracting hydrogen from a reaction between sodium, water and silicon. The company exploiting this avenue is New York's Signa Chemistry [Link]

IV. Last but not least is the EU and Israel's Weizmann Institute, Zn powder produced H2, Solzinc process[Link] Unlike the previous examples whereby hydrogen is obtained from corrosion like processes the Solzinc project is a classical reduction of zinc oxide by carbonaceous material at elevated temperatures (>1000°C)readily depicted by the Richardson-Ellingham Diagramme. High temperatures are obtained by using mirror concentrated solar power installation at the Weizmann Institute in Israel.

If this is not sufficient, the biologists too, seem keen to "Wedge some Wars" from their angle, if only to keep the metallurgists on their toes. CNet news reports again
"Stanford University professor James Swartz, who by contrast,has found a micro-organism that takes sunlight and splits water molecules. Swartz's work has generated a start-up called Fundamental Applied Biology."

I would not like to end on a note highlighting our biologist colleagues no matter how highly distinguished.

Let me point out that there is a very interesting list of metals and their carbonates all of which by definition are capable of absorbing CO2, and most likely producing Hydrogen subject to determining the correct thermodynamic, kinetic conditions. Choices will subject to the economic, "social and environmental" climate in which they are required to operate.

The efficiency of the hydrogen energy vector for combustion has been dealt with in depth in a very well reference section of the free Encyclopaedia "Wikipedia" [Link].

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Maney Publisher for the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining

I have just reviewed Maneys extended collection of Material Science Series[Link] ; Materials, Energy, Environment ... As a professional, I found the collection of great interest and warmly recommend browsing[Link] by Chemists,Absorption Chemists,Physicists,Materials Scientists,Metallurgists, Ceramisists,Applied Earth Sci,Chemical Engineers,Extractive and Process Metallurgists,Fuel Technologists, Surface Engineering, etc... to visit this collection and check whether they have, through their respective institutions and professional association access to online material, and free trial subscriptions as I have with great pleasure and benefit.

No_Holds_BARD "wedges wars"

As in the previous weblog, I am trying to make up for some lost time.

Straight to the point,here, I wish to lay a claim to the above title, "No_Holds_BARD."[Link]

The reader will by now, if he has taken the time to browse at some length, realise the auther's predisposition for prose and when inspired for poetry, the authers taste for originality, the exceptional,the extraordinary, perhaps, as an anti-dote for the run-of-the mill, the mundane...

However, here I must acknowledge (& log) that the title arose on a chance encouter on the RER_Rail Express Reseau the Paris High Speed Rail, between the Paris West beautiful town of St. Germain-en-Laye and Place Charles de Gaulle-Etoile.

Sitting opposite my wife and I was a compatriot, in full Scottish traditional dress, kilt, jacket,stockings-hose, the whole bit! Not only was Archie Robertson, from my native Scotland, he hails from my own home county's main town, Ayr, the county being named Ayrshire. It is now part of the Strathclyde region which includes the City of Glasgow. We, Archie & I, were neighbours, distant only of some 15kms appart.

I mentioned that I had two or three websites, blogs or personal pages in which he may enjoy my translation to french of the Scots poet Hugh Macdiarmid (ref in earlier logs, archives..) and maybe even find it of use in his english classes at the School of Commerce in St. Germain-en-Laye, adding "please feel free, just mention me as either the translator (Macdiarmid) and the auther of some original science based poems, and use them as you wish, No holds barred". In the true Scottish tradition, the quip came fast, "No Holds Bard",
[Link P3.],[Link P4.],[Link P5.], [Link P6.],[Link P7.] ,[Link P8.]

and he waited a second or two (I was a bit slow) to allow me to pick up the play on words - "le jeu de mots", same sound different meaning! I took this as an undeserved compliment since he had not yet read my efforts. I trust he (and any chance reader) has read them by now and appreciates them.

The Church in St.Germain-en-Laye, West Paris,just opposite the Castle, is host to the remains of the Scot, King James VI (of Scotland) & I (of Great Britain, UK) and incidently the rather posh town of Ayr in Scotland is twinned with equally posh town, Saint Germain-en-Laye,in France.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Belated Acknowledgement to Virginia Tech (vt) Pilar of Doctoral Thesis Repositaries

In guise of heart felt sympathy for the victims in the still recent killings at Virginia Tech (VT); staff and students, but also extended to the survivors, fellow students,victims families, relatives and friends, for the disgrace no doubt felt by the innocent members of the killers family, I wish to write a few lines of of appreciation for the work of the Tech.

I learned to truely apppreciate VT. through their support for the Masters and Doctoral Thesis Repository, to my knowledge the first freely available public online Doctoral Thesis Library.[Link] What better tribute to humanity, the availability of high level useful science and technology.

I am pleased to add that their example has been joined by many of the most important Schools and Universities in the USA, Doctoral Thesis Library (FR).[Link_1] Pastel:Paris Institute of Technology_Doctoral Thesis Library (FR)_[Link_2]
NB. I support movements, in modern democracies, whose aims are the strict, tight control and eventually full abolishion of small hand arms often more accureately descibed as "weapons of war")

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Serendipity & Great Inventions Myths Mistakes & Creative Error

The subject of the myths in science together with the importance of trans-, cross- or interdisciplinarity in scientific invention and innovation ("the latter being a sort of assisted serendipity") was recently brought to my attention, again, by a french friend, "James Clark". No, no, you are reading me correctly, James Clark is french.

The recent obituary, in The Economist, of Nobel Prize winner: Paul Lauterbur, father of MRI, who died on March 27th, at the fairly early age of 77, illustrates these themes rather well and how even the best, Macmillan press of Scots origin, can make mistakes, by refusing Paul's first paper in on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance(NMR)-Imagery in 1971. Perhaps this hurdle in 1971 spured Paul to even greater heights, from a near bust company started in 1971 to a shared Nobel Prize in Medicine 2003?

"THE whole history of modern science, Paul Lauterbur once joked, might be written on the basis of papers turned down by academic journals. His own experience was a case in point. In 1971 he sent a paper to Nature; it was rejected. The Nature folk were especially unimpressed by the fuzziness of the pictures that accompanied the piece."
ref. The Economist, UK. [Link]

To add a little more colour to this somewhat sad post,here is a lively, witty poem I like, by Norma Bruce refering to Research & Serendipity and more, entitled "The night Research went on a joy ride"[Link]

Friday, March 23, 2007

Wedge-A-War: Any Old Iron?, Corrosion & Natures Processes

Fe(s)+ H2O(l) +CO2(g)=> FeCO3(s) +H2(g)
iron +water+carbon dioxide => iron carbonate + H2
(where s=solid, l=liquid, g=gas.)

Let the Heavenly Steel Chorus hear -
Metallurgists, Steelmakers, Geologists, dear
Chemical Engineers and Ecologist's plea.
From humble steelmaking, sometime war-mongering,
To white knight planet saviour - eco-engineering,
For "Now's the time and now's the hour" for CO2 sinking,
For scientific method and controlled tinkering.
The above corrosive reaction begs the question:
Any old iron?

[Link to poems & more ]

References to CO2 Corrosion and Hydrogen Production:
1. Corrosion Mechanisms and Control in Hydrocarbon Exploration and Production Operations, D. Kirkwood, Journal of the Metallurgical Club N° 27 1992-1993,The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland.
2. NIMS-National Institute for Materials Science,Japan.[Link]
Full report on environmentally benign engineering [Link] (3.5Mo format Pdf .
3. Why not use iron? .[Link]format pdf

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dust-up your act, From Coal to Flour, And All things Small & Beautiful.

First Check out your Material:

Comparitive sizes of airborne particles such as dust, pollen, bacteria, virus and many more have been compiled by Engineeringtoolbox. Industrial examples found are coal, carbohydrates, tobacco smoke and many more. Among the numerous natural substances are pollen, virus and carbohydrates, etc. Why mention carbohydrates? Read-on.

Clean Rooms-High Standards - :
Tough Acts to Meet - particulate standards!

Some Back-ground to Dust Control:[Link]

One small thing leads to another, not just a neurological fact, a synapse.

In fact, I had recently been working on a problem entitled "Dust Control," carbohydrates actually.

However as I delved into the subject, I found that a much more appropriate term, is "dust confinement". The latter, not only satisfies both the difference in interpretation between french and english (anglo-saxon) of the word “control”, but also specifies, in this particular case, the client's aim to increase yield by putting all the material into the product or at least into the packaging.

I had given, myself an excruciating delay, and my industrial past appeared to be catching up with me. "Déja vu".

“Déja Vu!” from metallurgical dust and fumes during my 12years at the local factory here, “Les Acieries d'Imphy”; part of the Euro-Group of special alloys and stainless steel melting and refining plants”, supplemented more recently by car exhaust beneath my window from the local bypass. Now to crown things, a coal reserve found locally, 250MT no less, has come up for exploitation!

Carbohydrate powder confinement?: I had submitted a pretty off-focus (poor) piece of work to a pretty poorly defined question (i.e. one for insider specialists rather than for a general process engineer & scientist) but had the satisfaction of having made a contribution, on time and had learned in the process, although not enough to my liking.

Motivated by calm resolution after the intellectual storm, the brainstorm, to which I had subjected myself, motivated by residual dissatisfaction, by perception, a glimpse of some growing need, like an ominously dark cloud gathering, I set out to put some value on my initial effort to ramp –up, from scratch may I add.

I headed off to the local library, equipped with my hand calculator intending to get some orders of magnitude straightened out: surfaces, volumes, ratios of surface to volume for heat and chemical kinetics; aerodynamic (aerosol) particle terminal velocities etc.

We have the Berkeley 1970's lecture series; mechanics, physics, waves & optics, statistical thermodynamics and quantum mechanics in 5 Volumes, great stuff, and a competitor to Feynman’s famous series. For my purposes, the micron particle range 10-500 microns were to be “confined”. This took me back to my high school and early university mechanics.

In the back of my mind I felt this could also be a useful prelude to the more fashionable nano-family. Laziness or intelligence whichever one prefers, led me to head for the Internet terminal section of the library. Eureka, I was rewarded far beyond my expectations, ashes to ashes; let me share this lucky strike with you:

Micron Particles.

-Volumes, surface areas table, orders of magnitude, Surf./Vol. etc.
-The Aerodynamic particle:[Link] Solved Problems :[Link]
-Terminal Settling Velocity:[Link] Solved Problems :[Link]

Particle Formation:
(Grinding, Fossil-Fuel-Fired Boilers, Municiple and Medical Waste Incinerators):[Link]

Environmental Science Main Reference, more?:[Link]

(Acknowledgement to the US Environment Protection Agency (US-EPA) for the clear simplicity of their contribution to some basics of Environmental Science, thanking them for their continuing interest and wishing them all sucess in their efforts in practice and practise, in essence, Innovation )

((CARBOHYDRATES:I have opened this parenthesis due to my chance (serendipidous) reminder of an interesting link to my previous entry on photosynthesis. Carbohydrates are the main energy source for the human body. Chemically, carbohydrates are organic molecules in which carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen bond together in the ratio: Cx(H2O)y, where x and y are whole numbers that differ depending on the specific carbohydrate to which we are referring.

The chemical metabolism of the sugar glucose is shown below:
C6H12O6 + 6O2 --> 6CO2 + 6H2O + energy
which is the opposite reaction to that of photosynthesis refered to in my previous post. "Photosynthesis is an endothermic reaction very roughly:

6CO2 + 6H20 + energy --> C6H12O6 (glucose) + 6O2

Energy is supplied in daylight from the Sun with the further help of a catalyst, namely, chlorophyll.

Acknowledgement and link is visionlearning )) Close the carbohydrate/photosynthesis parenthesis.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Photosynthesis - The Endothermic PhysChem Reaction-In Reality "A System - Nature at her Best". (Wedge a War on Deforestation)

I have been very busy addressing various scientific and technical challenges, surprisingly, corresponding badly with the Xmas & New Year festive season, hence my lack of entries since 31 0ct.06!

Back "on the Air", I have chosen to share my introduction to a challenge which I found in the field of endothermic chemical reactions. These are reactions which absorb heat as opposed to releasing heat. As I found, it is a highly topical and even more so a highly relevant tropical theme!


Firstly I wish to thank Innocentive for drawing my attention, anew, to the field of Endothermic Chemical Reactions. A rapid search reminds the chance solver of the global importance of such reactions, especially under the current climate findings, in the form of Photosynthesis. I would have enjoyed delving further into this common but highly complex issue. For memory photosynthesis is an endothermic reaction very roughly:

CO2 + H20 --> C6H12O6 (glucose) + 6O2

Energy is supplied in daylight from the Sun with the further help of a catalyst, namely, chlorophyll.

Unfortunately it became rapidly apparent that I could not within the current challenge remotely hope to use this as a realisable solution.

I put the idea aside, for future reference.

The year 2006 ended with the publishing of the highly acclaimed Stern Report on the economics and financial implications of climate change and the year 2007 began with the first of the series of IPCC-UN reports on change reports and Paris conference Feb. 07.