Tuesday, December 18, 2012

maya phosphate Berkeley

maya phosphate Berkeley

Pope's Misconceptions about conception and science history

Tony Ryals | 29.10.2005 06:40 | Culture | Ecology | Gender

The pope's apparent ignorance of science history and modern agricultural technology obscures from his vision the disastrous effects of his policy of unchecked population growth on future generations who will find "no food on the table" nor the resources with which to grow it. This ignorance also shows that the pope has no more expertise in the fields of agricultural science, population planning, or resoure management than the pope in Galileo's time did in the area of astronomy.

Pope John Paul II may be gone but Pope Benedict XVI maintains a tradition of ignorance and human materialism that has no justification even in a literal interpretation of the Bible and only insures perpetual human ignorance and misery.

And this statement goes double for the fundamentalist protestants such as America's Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and their ilk, who have promoted human ignorance, hatred, and greed everyday of their worthless lives.

Pope's Stances Lack Scientific Basis
by Tony Ryals
The Daily Californian September 22, 1987

On Nov. 10, 1979, a meeting was held in Rome by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in honor of the 100th year anniversary of the birth of Albert Einstein. The meeting marked the first time in the history of the church, since the formation of its own science academy, that any pope had presided over such a session.

This meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences may well be more memorable for Pope John Paul II's statements regarding science, Galileo, and the church than for the honoring of the centenary of the birth of Einstein himself.

In discussing the case of Galileo and the church, Pope John Paul II addressed the academy as follows:

"Mr.President, you said very rightly that Galileo and Einstein each characterized an era. The greatness of Galileo is recognized by all, as is that of Einstein, but while today we honor the latter before the College of Cardinals in the apostolic palace, the former had to suffer much - we cannot deny it - from men and orgainzations within the church. The Vatican Council has recognized and deplored unwarranted interferences..."

Approximately one year after his Pontifical Academy of Science speech on Galileo, the pope, in criticizing what he termed "artificial" methods birth control, made a notable statement on modern agriculture, simultaneously. The pope stated:

"There are attacks on fecundity itself with means that human and Christian ethics must consider illicit... Instead of increasing the amount of bread on the table of a hungry humanity as a modern means of production can do today, there are thoughts of diminishing the number of those at the table through methods that are contrary to honesty. This is not worthy of civilization."

Now that the pope has pardoned Galileo for telling the church that the earth is in orbit around the sun, it is time to tell the pope that the other half of Aristotle's church-approved cosmology has also come unglued. The "Four Element" concept (earth, air, fire and water) was the other half of the Aristotelian Earth-centered universe adopted by St.Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century.

Although the Renaissance astronomers successfully challenged Aristotle's and the church's geocentric universe several centuries later, atoms still had not been discovered. For this reason the Four Elements remained intact and unchallenged long after the death of Galileo in 1642.

The discovery of atoms in the last couple of centuries has totally transformed our concept of elements. The former "elements", earth and air, are both composed of a variety of elements. We now know that even the ancient element "water" can be further divided into the elements of hydrogen and oxygen. And the element "fire" is now understood to be a form of radiation.

Justus Von Liebig, the 19th century father of agricultural chemistry, and other pioneering chemists did to Aristotle's Four Elements what the Renaissance astronomers did to Aristotle's concept of the Earth as the center of the universe - they overturned it!

Liebig first pointed out the for plants to utilize carbon dioxide in the air for growth, they must have adequate amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in their soil. Unfortunately, in popularizing the N,P,K concept of modern chemical agriculture, Liebig paved the way for overreliance upon energy-intensive fossil fuel consumption in the mining of phosphorus and potassium as well as in industrial production of nitrogen fertilizers.

We now know that for every orbit of the Earth around the sun - one year - the pope, each member of the Catholic Church, and everyone else on the planet consumes in their food and excretes from their bodies approximately two pounds of phosphorus and various quantities of nitrogen, calcium, potassium, iron, and other trace elements. All these elements generally go unrecycled, often into rivers and oceans or even municipal dumps, further enriching fertilizer industries (who will sell the farmers more for a price) at the expense of the Earth's non-renewable mineral nutrient resources.

When the remaining fossil fuels, particularly natural gas, are exhausted, only bacteria and blue-green algae utilizing phosphorus, potassium, and trace elements in "soil-culture" and "aqua-culture" will be likely candidates to fix atmospheric nitrogen for agricultural fertilization.

Both the trade of grains and the direct trade of phosphates speed the depletion of our limited reserves of phosphate rock in the United States, which comes mainly from mining operations in Florida. Deposits in Idaho are also being mined, at present, and Armand Hammer of Occidental Petroleum has eyed public land near Ojai, Calif. to strip-mine for phosphates.

We should realize the need to conserve our dwindling reserves of phosphates for future generations. The United States not long ago was a net exporter of petroleum, but now we are importers. The same situation could occur with phosphates if we refuse to learn from the past. Some researchers have suggested that we may become dependent upon yet a new OPEC (or Organization of Phosphate Exporting Countries), such as Morocco, with its relatively large rock phosphate reserves.

The U.S. General Accounting Office estimates that our reserves of phosphorus will be depleted some time in the next century. This will inevitably lead to a food and population crisis that will make our oil crisis seem minor by comparison.

The pope's apparent ignorance of science history and modern agricultural technology obscures from his vision the disastrous effects of his policy of unchecked population growth on future generations who will find "no food on the table" nor the resources with which to grow it. This ignorance also shows that the pope has no more expertise in the fields of agricultural science, population planning, or resoure management than the pope in Galileo's time did in the area of astronomy.

The nutrients that subsidize the life of the pope, and everyone on the planet, are a finite resource. Unless the pope realizes the seriousness of the linear flow of elements through himself and the rest of humanity, he shall be partly responsible for contributing to the collapse of modern agriculture.

To sum up, Pope John Paul II is as confused about the movement of atoms as the pope of Galileo's time was about the movement of the Earth and celestial bodies. Based upon the rate of depletion of chemical fertilizers, the present pope does not have 300 years to re-evaluate his view on modern agriculture and birth control. The question still remains as to why the Pontifical Academy of Sciences has not made this disastrous movement of atoms clear to the pope.  



Sweet diesel! Discovery resurrects process to convert sugar directly to diesel

A long-abandoned fermentation process once used to turn starch into explosives can be used to produce renewable diesel fuel to replace the fossil fuels now used in transportation, UC Berkeley scientists have discovered.
Graduate student Zachary Baer.
Graduate student Zachary Baer works with a fermentation chamber in the Energy Biosciences Building to separate acetone and butanol (clear top layer) from the yellowish Clostridium brew at the bottom. The chemicals can be extracted and catalytically altered to make a fuel that burns like diesel. Robert Sanders photo.
Campus chemists and chemical engineers teamed up to produce diesel fuel from the products of a bacterial fermentation discovered nearly 100 years ago by the first president of Israel, chemist Chaim Weizmann. The retooled process produces a mix of products that contain more energy per gallon than ethanol that is used today in transportation fuels and could be commercialized within 5-10 years.
While the fuel’s cost is still higher than diesel or gasoline made from fossil fuels, the scientists said the process would drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, one of the major contributors to global climate change.
“What I am really excited about is that this is a fundamentally different way of taking feedstocks – sugar or starch – and making all sorts of renewable things, from fuels to commodity chemicals like plastics,” said Dean Toste, professor of chemistry and co-author of a report on the new development that will appear in the Nov. 8 issue of the journal Nature.
The work by Toste, coauthors Harvey Blanch and Douglas Clark, professors of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and their colleagues was supported by the Energy Biosciences Institute, a collaboration between UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and funded by the energy firm BP.
The linkage between Toste, whose EBI work is in the development of novel catalysts, and Clark and Blanch, who are working on cellulose hydrolysis and fermentation, was first suggested by BP chemical engineer Paul Willems, EBI associate director. The collaboration, Willems said, illustrates the potential value that can come from academic-industry partnerships like the EBI.
The late Weizmann’s process employs the bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum to ferment sugars into acetone, butanol and ethanol. Blanch and Clark developed a way of extracting the acetone and butanol from the fermentation mixture while leaving most of the ethanol behind, while Toste developed a catalyst that converted this ideally-proportioned brew into a mix of long-chain hydrocarbons that resembles the combination of hydrocarbons in diesel fuel.
Tests showed that it burned about as well as normal petroleum-based diesel fuel.
“It looks very compatible with diesel, and can be blended like diesel to suit summer or winter driving conditions in different states,” said Blanch.
The process is versatile enough to use a broad range of renewable starting materials, from corn sugar (glucose) and cane sugar (sucrose) to starch, and would work with non-food feedstocks such as grass, trees or field waste in cellulosic processes.
“You can tune the size of your hydrocarbons based on the reaction conditions to produce the lighter hydrocarbons typical of gasoline, or the longer-chain hydrocarbons in diesel, or the branched chain hydrocarbons in jet fuel,” Toste said.
World War I process
The fermentation process, dubbed ABE for the three chemicals produced, was discovered by Weizmann around the start of World War I in 1914, and allowed Britain to produce acetone, which was needed to manufacture cordite, used at that time as a military propellant to replace gunpowder. The increased availability and decreased cost of petroleum soon made the process economically uncompetitive, though it was used again as a starting material for synthetic rubber during World War II. The last U.S. factory using the process to produce acetone and butanol closed in 1965.
Nevertheless, Blanch said, the process by which the Clostridium bacteria convert sugar or starch to these three chemicals is very efficient. This led him and his laboratory to investigate ways of separating the fermentation products that would use less energy than the common method of distillation.
Vial of fermenting Clostridium and glycerol layer that extracts the products of their fermentation.
The clear liquid at the top of the vial is glyceryl tributyrate, which extracts the acetone and butanol from the fermentation chamber. This allows chemists to more easily separate the chemicals from the yellow fermenting brew and protects the bacteria, which are killed by high concentrations of the chemicals.
They discovered that several organic solvents, in particular glyceryl tributyrate (tributyrin), could extract the acetone and butanol from the fermentation broth while not extracting much ethanol. Tributyrin is not toxic to the bacterium and, like oil and water, doesn’t mix with the broth.
Brought together by the EBI, Blanch and Clark found that Toste had discovered a catalytic process that preferred exactly that proportion of acetone, butanol and ethanol to produce a range of hydrocarbons, primarily ketones, which burn similarly to the alkanes found in diesel.
“The extractive fermentation process uses less than 10 percent of the energy of a conventional distillation to get the butanol and acetone out – that is the big energy savings,” said Blanch. “And the products go straight into the chemistry in the right ratios, it turns out.”
The current catalytic process uses palladium and potassium phosphate, but further research is turning up other catalysts that are as effective, but cheaper and longer-lasting, Toste said. The catalysts work by binding ethanol and butanol and converting them to aldehydes, which react with acetone to add more carbon atoms, producing longer hydrocarbons.
“To make this work, we had to have the biochemical engineers working hand in hand with the chemists, which means that to develop the process, we had learn each other’s language,” Clark said. “You don’t find that in very many places.”
Clark noted that diesel produced via this process could initially supply niche markets, such as the military, but that renewable fuel standards in states such as California will eventually make biologically produced diesel financially viable, especially for trucks, trains and other vehicles that need more power than battery alternatives can provide.
“Diesel could put Clostridium back in business, helping us to reduce global warming,” Clark said. “That is one of the main drivers behind this research.”
Coauthors of the study include former post-doctoral fellow Pazhamalai Anbarasan, graduate student Zachary C. Baer, postdocs Sanil Sreekumar and Elad Gross and BP chemist Joseph B. Binder.

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