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How to be a Phizzasist

02/19/2013 2:49 AM

While doing my Google search for manufacturers of gas filled polymer microbubbles (which I have yet to find, and will be the topic of a different thread soon), I unearthed this article about using microbubbles in the ocean to reflect sunlight back into space, in order to try and ameliorate 'global warming'. My major difficulty with this article is the suggestion that using latex microbubbles, which won't breakdown might be a better option. Only one slim sentence even mentions the toxic nature of these materials, and then seems to dismiss that possibility with a flick of the wrist.

HOWEVER! An even bigger unknown, which is totally ignored is the possible adverse effects they may inflict on the flora, and fauna that will inevitably ingest, and inhale them when these particles are introduced into the ecosystem.

Breathing in microparticles is a certain cause of Mesothelioma in mammals, and was virtually unknown until asbestos started deteriorating, and the diseased mushroomed into near epidemic proportions. Why is it not logical to assume that there might be similar problems in aquatic life by starting off with free floating microparticles?

Am I somehow deserving of being pummeled for not 'going along' with the flow; because, everyone knows that results don't count nowadays, as long as your intentions were good!

_________________________________________


http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/10/08/low-intensity-geoengineering-microbubbles-and-microspheres/

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#1

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/19/2013 3:46 AM

Results for Resin Thickener:Phenolic MicroballoonsI've used these before. I'm not aware of any microspheres that are not gas filled.
Spreading them over water? This cure may be worse than the disease.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/19/2013 9:57 AM

Thanks Lyn,

I was using the wrong search term. All I was turning up was microbubbles in foam.

Ballons... who knew? (Well, you did). No need for a different thread now.

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#5
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Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/19/2013 10:09 AM

Of course you could always use glass microspheres. That's what we called 'em in the aerospace game.

An aside, related to me by a 3M engineer. Glass microspheres were rejects from the glass bead process used to make solid, reflective glass beads for highway signs.

Some engineer (or janitor, I don't know) finally decided that they could use these rejects as filler for resins and as a component of syntactic foam, etc. And, the rest is history.

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#2

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/19/2013 5:31 AM

For some reason, the entire concept doesn't make sense to me. But I could be wrong.

It seems like reflecting sun back into space from the ocean surface, would make things warmer. I say that because I don't know how much light would actually make it back to space, as opposed to just bouncing around in our atmosphere and heating up particulate matter, whereas just allowing the light to disperse in the ocean might be better.

Not based on any science; I'm just thinking about fishing trips on boats with a reflective surface. You end up getting sunburnt from above and below.

If we consider that water vapor is the primary atmospheric warming component, wouldn't they sun's rays, (most of them), just get bounced back and fourth, warming everything in their path?

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#7
In reply to #2

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/19/2013 2:37 PM

I agree with you.

Logically, reflection would need to take place in the atmosphere, not at the surface.

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#13
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Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 10:54 AM

In fact, reflection from the surface helps a great deal. That is one reason for the concern about ice melting: the smaller the area of ice, the lower the total albedo of the earth. If the earth were painted black it would be hotter.

The reason "tipping point" shows up so much in discussions of global warming is that there are several positive feedback loops, this being just one. As ice melts, albedo goes down, causing further warming and further melting... in a vicious circle.

A mirror will reflect a very large portion of the light hitting it. Something painted black will absorb light, converting it to heat, and re-radiating long wave infrared. The long waves are blocked by CO2 and other greenhouse gases, so more heat is retained than if there were no atmosphere. Were it not for the atmosphere we be much colder.

Of course, reflection further up in the atmosphere (such as from the top sides of clouds) helps too.

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#19
In reply to #13

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 7:17 PM

Most of the surface of the earth is water, which is close to black.

While I agree that the ice packs reflect some of the infrared radiation we receive from the sun (maybe even a significant amount as you say), a more reflective atmosphere could drastically affect the temperature of the planet.

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#11
In reply to #2

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 10:46 AM

I think the idea is that if it is not reflected, all of the energy is added as heat to the surface, waters and lower atmosphere. But if it is reflected, some of it is likely to get back out. Even if it is a small percentage, the thinking is probably that some is better than none, and over a large area the effect will become significant.

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#3

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/19/2013 8:20 AM

Here's an interesting interview with legendary aerospace engineer Burt Rutan about climate change.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2012/09/09/a-cool-headed-climate-conversation-with-aerospace-legend-burt-rutan/

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#8
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Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/19/2013 4:30 PM

Good article, finally an engineer looks at the data.

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#6

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/19/2013 1:44 PM

Breathing in microparticles is a certain cause of Mesothelioma in mammals, and was virtually unknown until asbestos started deteriorating, and the diseased mushroomed into near epidemic proportions.


Interesting that you should mention this. I have been bickering with Kramarat about asbestos standards, lax EPA standards, etc. Deterioration of asbestos is not required for effects to show up. There is a latency period before the most lethal affects show up, but the fibers themselves remain in place and continue to do their damage, (which can take the effect of slicing apart chromosomes) for decades. In fact, the worst effects are due to the fact that the fibers do not deteriorate (combined with the root problem being that the fiber size is one that remains in the lungs, rather than being expelled as most dusts are.)


The effects of working with asbestos were known in Roman times, with asbestos weavers dying off at alarming rates. By 1930, the effects were very well known by the people who actually study such things. For example:

  • In 1930, the major asbestos company Johns-Manville produced a report, for internal company use only, about medical reports of asbestos worker fatalities.[75] In 1932, a letter from U.S. Bureau of Mines to asbestos manufacturer Eagle-Picher stated, in relevant part, "It is now known that asbestos dust is one of the most dangerous dusts to which man is exposed."[76]

(See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asbestos#1920s.E2.80.931930s )


Zonolite, the brand name for vermiculite used as home insulation is typically contained about 10% asbestos. In 1959, the Zonolite Company

  • requested "chest x-rays of all Libby employees. Of 130 mine employees, 48 show abnormalities. Results are sent to each employee's family physician."

(See: http://www.grace.com/about/ehs/libby/timeline.aspx )


It was not until 2000 that WR Grace decided shut down operations: why would you, when asbestos exposure is not killing off all your employees? There is still money to be made, by selling asbestos products. Want some gloves? You can import these into virtually every US state, because the EPA does not restrict importation of asbestos clothing.


C'est La Vie.

Am I somehow deserving of being pummeled for not 'going along' with the flow;

I think not. It sounds just crazy, with there being all sorts of obvious unintended consequences. And it does not address other issues associated with high atmospheric CO2 levels, such as acidification of oceans, which is already affecting shellfish yields.


BTW, I use RAKA as a source for glass and phenolic microballoons. Good prices.

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#9

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 9:53 AM

Gas filled polymer microbubbles would not stay gas filled very long because polymers have gaps between the molecules that permit gas to diffuse through. So, after some time elapsed you would find the internal gas gone. Also, it is well to remember that medical terms have changed over the years. It is now fashionable to call asbestos related lung cancer mesothelioma, but in the early part of the last century it was called emphysema. When industries that dealt with felt products became aware if the connection between felt products and COPD, they began to supply ventilation in their factories. The health of the workers improved while the health of people living down-wind from the factories, deteriorated.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 10:32 AM

Mesothelioma is a cancer that it very nearly unique to asbestos exposure. It is a cancer of the mesothelium, the protective lining covering internal organs.

Emphysema is quite different, and is one of several forms of COPD. There is no malignancy involved. Mesothelioma and COPD are also distinct diseases, with different causes, progression, and symptoms.

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#16
In reply to #10

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 11:46 AM

You know all this because of medical work done in the previous century. 100 years ago people developed breathing difficulties and died. It was called emphysema. Doctors had never heard of mesothelioma prior to the 20th century. Same goes for berylliosis, silicosis, and a host of other lung related illnesses.

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#17
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Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 11:52 AM

True. I see what you were saying.

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#12
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Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 10:47 AM

Not to pick nits, but, "So, after some time elapsed you would find the internal gas gone" is not quite correct.

The gas will have reached equilibrium with the environment, but the sphere will still contain "gas".

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#15
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Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 11:15 AM

If the internal gas is, for example, hydrogen, the hydrogen diffuses out because the partial pressure of hydrogen is high inside and low outside. Larger external molecules will try to diffuse back in, but will do so at a much lower rate. The sphere might, for practical purposes, contain no gas for a long time. This is but one practical example. Almost all species of gas follow partial pressure laws.

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#18
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Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 12:24 PM

The vast majority are processed in N2, so, that would be the gas inside them.

I can't think of any reason to process them in H2. (Remember the Hindenburg).

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#14
In reply to #9

Re: How to be a Phizzasist

02/20/2013 11:06 AM

Gas filled polymer microbubbles would not stay gas filled very long because polymers have gaps between the molecules that permit gas to diffuse through.

As long as they stay filled long enough to keep their shape until the plastic I intend to mix them with cools and sets. The goal being to lighten the whole casting. Once included in the plastic they won't have much opportunity to share their contents with the world outside; and, even if they did they will have accomplished their purpose.

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