RE: stupid ideas

The Low Golden Willow (
Sun, 8 Jun 1997 21:44:51 -0700 (PDT)

On Jun 8, 7:30pm, "Laws, David" wrote:

} brain I don't recall seeing it before. Total recycling. Taking a
} substance and breaking it down into it's molecular components (carbon,
} oxygen, silicon, sulfur, iron, etc). Nanotech may become a vital
} constituent of this process.

} I would like to hear if total recycling has been theorized and how possible
} (given that the technology does not now exist) it may be.

I would bet we can do it, quite easily. Easily, that is, if you have
the energy to break apart every single molecular bond. It's a fine idea
if you have fusion torches or large solar mirrors already at hand;
vaporize or melt asteroid material and fractionally separate it or
something. But if you can extract the water or plastics through other
means this will take less energy than blasting your garbage and
recombining the atoms.

True, that energy would come back from recombination. But that's at a
later stage in the process, we can't store random energy at will without
cost, and in reality blasting and recombination would probably lose lots
of heat.

Self-reliability check: I know we can make plasmas, which are
dissociated, by heating anything enough, not to mention melts. I don't
know for sure that we could reliably sort out the elements. If we can I
doubt we can close the energy loop as you'd need. Any engineers able to
correct me?

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

And I'll set my sails of silver
And I'll steer toward the sun
And you false love shall weep for me
When I'm gone, when I'm gone, when I'm gone, when I'm GONE!