Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Heavy Mud - Sodium Bentonite

All the news from the BP oil spill talks about using heavy mud to plug the well. What is heavy mud?

A Common Clay, Swelling Bentonite.
Sodium bentonite expands when wet - it can absorb several times its dry weight in water. It is mostly used in drilling mud in the oil and gas well drilling industries. The property of swelling also makes sodium bentonite useful as a sealant, especially targeted for the sealing of subsurface disposal systems for spent nuclear fuel and for quarantining metal pollutants of groundwater. Similar uses include making slurry walls, waterproofing of below grade walls and forming other impermeable barriers (e.g. to plug old wells or as a liner in the base of landfills to prevent migration of leachate into the soil.

Why is this useful you say? Well it would be particularly useful to pour a slurry of Bentonite around a stack of cargo containers buried below grade.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Origin Oil developing a 40Ft cargo container to grow algae

Origin Oil's Complete Process

Well look how funding can help a company. Progress from Origin Oil towards making algea growing available to the masses. First they have simplified CO2 dispersion into an algal tank, then using the same process but with higher pressure figured out a way to extract the oil without using a separate ultrasonic device.

Now they are planning on using 40 foot shipping containers as algae growing labs. The question is when can I order one and how much will it cost?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Calling all clothes dryers! Retrofit and save energy.

Probably the best and simplest invention I've seen in a while. A kit to retrofit your existing clothes dryer to save energy. Current dryers push air past wire coils (electric) or a heat exchanger (gas) to heat up the air that goes into the dyer to dry your clothes. This kit heats up an oil filled radiator which then the air is passed through. It is about twice as efficient in terms of heat transfer. Check it out DryerMiser™
I will admit that their website is horrible and their ecommerce store needs help. But if they can get their act together with their marketing, I predict that this company will be able to go very far. Here's hoping to a simple product that could save tons of energy for us all.