Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Azrael » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:17 am

Typhoon wrote:CSPAN - Burt Rutan | Innovation and the Space Race

[I'm still waiting for a rocket that does not rely on chemical combustion for propulsion.]

Deep Space 1, launched on October 1998, used an Ion Thruster.

Image

NSTAR ion thruster, the same as used by Deep Space 1.
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Typhoon » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:09 am

Azrael wrote:
Typhoon wrote:CSPAN - Burt Rutan | Innovation and the Space Race

[I'm still waiting for a rocket that does not rely on chemical combustion for propulsion.]

Deep Space 1, launched on October 1998, used an Ion Thruster.

Image

NSTAR ion thruster, the same as used by Deep Space 1.


Ion thrusters are good once the rocket is in space, however, I meant rockets that can lift large payloads off the earth and reach escape velocity.
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Typhoon » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:12 am

SFGate | The hypocrisy in Silicon Valley's big talk on innovation

One of the article comments sums it up best:

erockower 11:46 PM on March 11, 2013
Anticipating Max by half a year, George Bray (@GeorgeBray) tweeted at 3:12pm - 22 Mar 11:

"Your mobile phone has more computing power than all of NASA in 1969. NASA launched a man to the moon. We launch a bird into pigs."

(https://twitter.com/GeorgeBray/status/50318850218131456)
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Azrael » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:59 am

Typhoon wrote:
Azrael wrote:
Typhoon wrote:CSPAN - Burt Rutan | Innovation and the Space Race

[I'm still waiting for a rocket that does not rely on chemical combustion for propulsion.]

Deep Space 1, launched on October 1998, used an Ion Thruster.

Image

NSTAR ion thruster, the same as used by Deep Space 1.


Ion thrusters are good once the rocket is in space,

Definitely. That's what I meant.

however, I meant rockets that can lift large payloads off the earth and reach escape velocity.

Oh. I didn't know that was what you meant. Sorry I misunderstood your comment.

Perhaps in the not-too-distant future space elevator technology may become feasible; but perhaps not.

Perhaps sky ramp technology may work? I don't know enough to have an opinion one way or the other.
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:03 am

.


it’s believed that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be capable of wireless charging, making fiddly charger cables truly a thing of the past.



.

Samsung’s take reportedly uses a more advanced method enabled by resonant magnetic coupling technology that would allow the Galaxy S4 to be charged from up to two metres away.

.





.
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Azrael » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:39 pm

You may find this interesting, Typhoon. Also for in-space propulsion (rather than lift-off).

The Fusion Driven Rocket: Nuclear Propulsion through Direct Conversion of Fusion Energy

Image

Pretty early stage . . .
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Azrael » Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:32 am

Although, an efficient way to get in to orbit might be



Stratolaunch
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Azrael » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:42 pm

Laser Tuner Boosts Radio Reception

A new kind of radio tuner that is extremely sensitive to faint signals could improve various applications, from radio telescope imagery to cell phone reception.

Wayt Gibbs reports [Scientific American].
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Nonc Hilaire » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:50 am

The old is new again. The first Astronaut wings were earned by X-15 pilots.

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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Typhoon » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:48 am

New Sci | It’s a Myth That Entrepreneurs Drive New Technology

Images of tech entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are continually thrown at us by politicians, economists, and the media. The message is that innovation is best left in the hands of these individuals and the wider private sector, and that the state—bureaucratic and sluggish—should keep out. A telling 2012 article in the Economist claimed that, to be innovative, governments must "stick to the basics" such as spending on infrastructure, education, and skills, leaving the rest to the revolutionary garage tinkerers.

Yet it is ideology, not evidence, that fuels this image. A quick look at the pioneering technologies of the past century points to the state, not the private sector, as the most decisive player in the game.
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Azrael » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:16 am

There was definitely a lot of government money involved in the development of nuclear power, radar, aerospace, etc.
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Enki » Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:08 pm

Typhoon wrote:New Sci | It’s a Myth That Entrepreneurs Drive New Technology

Images of tech entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are continually thrown at us by politicians, economists, and the media. The message is that innovation is best left in the hands of these individuals and the wider private sector, and that the state—bureaucratic and sluggish—should keep out. A telling 2012 article in the Economist claimed that, to be innovative, governments must "stick to the basics" such as spending on infrastructure, education, and skills, leaving the rest to the revolutionary garage tinkerers.

Yet it is ideology, not evidence, that fuels this image. A quick look at the pioneering technologies of the past century points to the state, not the private sector, as the most decisive player in the game.


It's really frustrating reading these things since people have made innovation and invention into synonyms.

Entrepeneurs are pretty much the primary innovators. But very few things are invented by entrepeneurs. Invention is the creation of a new thing. Innovation is making it practically useful and getting it to a market. Plenty of cool do-dads get invented that never make it to use and as such they are not terribly innovative. They don't change the way we do things.
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Typhoon » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:33 pm

IEEE | The Device made of Nothing

This curious mash-up of vacuum tube and MOSFET could one day replace traditional silicon
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Typhoon » Tue Aug 12, 2014 4:16 pm

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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Heracleum Persicum » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:06 pm

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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Typhoon » Mon Sep 08, 2014 1:27 pm

Quartz | Why Google doesn’t care about hiring top college graduates

Google has spent years analyzing who succeeds at the company, which has moved away from a focus on GPAs, brand name schools, and interview brain teasers.
In a conversation with The New York Times’ Tom Friedman, Google’s head of people operations, Laszlo Bock, detailed what the company looks for. And increasingly, it’s not about credentials.
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Zack Morris » Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:05 am

Google has to be among the dullest places to work these days (besides Google X, which is generally inaccessible unless you are a superstar researcher). I wonder if this has impacted their hiring. Also, few organizations have even considered running the kind of analysis Google has on their hiring process, let alone have the resources and number of employees to do it with.

It seems to me that most other prestigious employers are becoming more, not less, selective about degrees. There are orders of magnitude more applicants than they can process. And hiring managers tend to hire people that are similar to themselves, especially if they consider themselves to be exceptional. Brain teasers are still all the rage for quant/developer positions on Wall Street despite being of dubious value. Standards for technical positions everywhere tend to be more forgiving about degree quality and focus more on skills and relevant experience but others (investment banking is the best example, and leadership-track positions), which are certainly not as intellectually demanding, emphasize credentials and prestige. Even in Silicon Valley, venture funding is awarded disproportionately to Stanford and Harvard alumni and, wouldn't you know it, those doling out the investments went to the same schools.
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Typhoon » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:01 pm

Zack Morris wrote:Google has to be among the dullest places to work these days (besides Google X, which is generally inaccessible unless you are a superstar researcher). I wonder if this has impacted their hiring. Also, few organizations have even considered running the kind of analysis Google has on their hiring process, let alone have the resources and number of employees to do it with.


Don't know.

Zack Morris wrote:It seems to me that most other prestigious employers are becoming more, not less, selective about degrees. There are orders of magnitude more applicants than they can process. And hiring managers tend to hire people that are similar to themselves, especially if they consider themselves to be exceptional. Brain teasers are still all the rage for quant/developer positions on Wall Street despite being of dubious value. Standards for technical positions everywhere tend to be more forgiving about degree quality and focus more on skills and relevant experience but others (investment banking is the best example, and leadership-track positions), which are certainly not as intellectually demanding, emphasize credentials and prestige. Even in Silicon Valley, venture funding is awarded disproportionately to Stanford and Harvard alumni and, wouldn't you know it, those doling out the investments went to the same schools.


Probably the best argument in favour of attending a name Ivy League school.
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Doc » Sun Oct 19, 2014 5:50 am

'Magnetic Mirrors' Could Lead To Advances In Solar Cells And Photodetectors

By Rebekah Marcarelli r.marcarelli@hngn.com | Oct 17, 2014 10:50 AM EDT

A never-before-seen class of mirrors allows researchers to capture electromagnetic radiation, which could lead to advances in chemical sensors, solar cells, lasers, and optoelectronic devices.

The innovation works by reflecting infrared light using the magnetic properties of a non-metallic metamaterial. Nanoscale antennas placed at the surface of these "magnetic mirrors" allow them to capture the radiation, The Optical Society reported.

"We have achieved a new milestone in magnetic mirror technology by experimentally demonstrating this remarkable behavior of light at infrared wavelengths. Our breakthrough comes from using a specially engineered, non-metallic surface studded with nanoscale resonators," said Michael Sinclair, co-author on the Optica paper and a scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA who co-led a research team with fellow author and Sandia scientist Igal Brener.

The cube-shaped resonators employ the element tellurium and are even smaller than the width of a human hair and thinner than the waves of infrared light.

"The size and shape of the resonators are critical, as are their magnetic and electrical properties, all of which allow them to interact uniquely with light, scattering it across a specific range of wavelengths to produce a magnetic mirror effect," Sinclair said.

Conventional mirrors reflect light by interacting with the electrical components of radiation, but to confirm the new magnetic device was actually behaving like a mirror the researchers needed to measure how light waves overlap as the bounced off the mirror's surface and overlapped. Since normal mirrors reverse this phase of light, evidence that the phase signature of the wave was not reversed would be proof the new device was working.

To make this detection the researchers used a technique called time-domain spectroscopy, which is used to measure phase at longer terahertz wavelengths. Very few scientists have successfully used this technique at shorter wavelengths, as was done in this experiment.

"Our results clearly indicated that there was no phase reversal of the light," remarked Sheng Liu, Sandia postdoctoral associate and lead author on the Optica paper. "This was the ultimate demonstration that this patterned surface behaves like an optical magnetic mirror."

In the future the researchers hope to look into how other materials can also demonstrate magnetic mirror behavior at even shorter wavelengths.

"If efficient magnetic mirrors could be scaled to even shorter wavelengths, then they could enable smaller photodetectors, solar cells, and possibly lasers," Liu concluded.

Read more: http://www.hngn.com/articles/46204/2014 ... ectors.htm
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Parodite » Wed Oct 22, 2014 1:24 pm

Cambridge scientists crack graphene production


A team of Cambridge scientists has cracked the production of "wonder" material, graphene.

This means that Cambridge University spin-off, Cambridge Nanosystems, is now set to become the leading supplier.

The team has worked out how to produce impurity-free graphene at high volumes and low cost.

Although long touted as a wonder material for the future, graphene has not been scalable - until now.


At the moment Cambridge Nanosystems, based in the city, has 14 people, but this number is set to double over the next 12 months when they open a factory.

The fledgling company has achieved what many global firms have been trying to crack for some time and successfully turned a greenhouse gas into pure graphene, in a single, very efficient step.

Using a ball of plasma, held in a steady state, they are able to 'crack' gases such as methane and produce, in a single process, very high quality graphene.

With a lab-scale production unit they are already producing graphene commercially, but the major challenge they faced was in scaling this up to an industrial level. The hot news is that they have now worked out how to do this and are constructing a plant in East Cambridge that will house their first full-scale production unit capable of producing large quantities of this very valuable material.

The scientists behind the breakthrough were initially drawn to the UK from Poland and Austria, because of the world-class research opportunities afforded by Cambridge University's Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy.

Dr Krzysztof Koziol, who co-founded Cambridge Nanosystems with Jerome Jouag, said: "We decided to stay in Cambridge to build this new company because of its unique start-up community.

"We received excellent support from conventional sources such as the entrepreneurial community, but also from the local council who helped us to locate a suitable site for our manufacturing facility.

"We look forward to building Cambridge Nanosystems into the world's leading supplier of ultra-high quality graphene, while bringing high-skilled jobs to the local area."

The company is set to move into its new production facility early next year. The move will enable them to increase graphene production tenfold.

Collaboration with global brands across a number of sectors is already in place to develop graphene into advanced designs.

cambridgenanosystems.com
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Typhoon » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:13 am

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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Doc » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:34 am

My apologies if I posted this before I thought I had but I don't see it anywhere. Zack Morris I think you should especially like this.

American Experience: Silicon Valley.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperie ... on/player/
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Doc » Tue Apr 07, 2015 4:15 am

New Magnetic Field Detector Is 1,000 Times More Energy Efficient Than Current Models

The innovation could lead to tiny battery-powered devices that could be used in medical imaging.

By Rebekah Marcarelli r.marcarelli@hngn.com | Apr 06, 2015 05:09 PM EDT


The innovation could lead to tiny battery-powered devices that could be used in medical imaging, contraband detection, and could even have applications in geological exploration, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) reported.


Current devices that are used in these fields rely on gas-filled chambers or can only operate in narrow frequency bands, these new detectors employ synthetic diamonds with nitrogen vacancies (NVs), which are extremely sensitive to magnetic fields. A diamond chip about the size of a thumbnail could hold trillions of nitrogen vacancies, each of which can perform its own measurement of a magnetic field. In the past it has been difficult for scientists to aggregate such a high number of measurements. To determine these measurements researchers must zap the nitrogen vacancies with a laser light, the intensity of which reveals the magnetic state.


"In the past, only a small fraction of the pump light was used to excite a small fraction of the NVs," said Dirk Englund, the Jamieson Career Development Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and one of the designers of the new device. "We make use of almost all the pump light to measure almost all of the NVs."


A nitrogen vacancy is a missing atom in the lattice of a crystal; electrons in this vacancy have the ability to interact with magnetic fields, making them ideal for sensing. When a photon strikes an electron in this nitrogen vacancy, it is boosted into a higher energy state, and could release its excess energy as a photon. Magnetic fields can flip the electron's magnetic orientation, which widens the difference between the two energy states. Making accurate measurements with this type of device requires the scientists to collect a high number of photons.


"Only a small fraction of the light is absorbed," said Hannah Clevenson, a graduate student in electrical engineering. "Most of it just goes straight through the diamond. We gain an enormous advantage by adding this prism facet to the corner of the diamond and coupling the laser into the side. All of the light that we put into the diamond can be absorbed and is useful."


The team calculated the angle at which a laser should enter a crystal so that it will stay confined, but bounce around like a "cue ball" before its energy is completely absorbed. The geometry of the nitrogen vacancies allows the photons to emerge at four different angles, to be collected by a lens at the end of the crystal. This technique allows 20 percent of the photons to be focused onto a light detector, facilitating a reliable measurement.


The findings were published in a recent edition of the journal Nature Physics.


http://www.hngn.com/articles/82906/2015 ... models.htm
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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby Endovelico » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:15 am

Artificial photosynthesis poses win/win for the environment
by Staff Writers - Berkeley CA (SPX) Apr 17, 2015
http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Major_advance_in_artificial_photosynthesis_poses_win_win_for_the_environment_999.html

A potentially game-changing breakthrough in artificial photosynthesis has been achieved with the development of a system that can capture carbon dioxide emissions before they are vented into the atmosphere and then, powered by solar energy, convert that carbon dioxide into valuable chemical products, including biodegradable plastics, pharmaceutical drugs and even liquid fuels.

Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley have created a hybrid system of semiconducting nanowires and bacteria that mimics the natural photosynthetic process by which plants use the energy in sunlight to synthesize carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water.

However, this new artificial photosynthetic system synthesizes the combination of carbon dioxide and water into acetate, the most common building block today for biosynthesis.

"We believe our system is a revolutionary leap forward in the field of artificial photosynthesis," says Peidong Yang, a chemist with Berkeley Lab's Materials Sciences Division and one of the leaders of this study.

"Our system has the potential to fundamentally change the chemical and oil industry in that we can produce chemicals and fuels in a totally renewable way, rather than extracting them from deep below the ground."

Yang, who also holds appointments with UC Berkeley and the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute (Kavli-ENSI) at Berkeley, is one of three corresponding authors of a paper describing this research in the journal Nano Letters. The paper is titled "Nanowire-bacteria hybrids for unassisted solar carbon dioxide fixation to value-added chemicals."

The other corresponding authors and leaders of this research are chemists Christopher Chang and Michelle Chang. Both also hold joint appointments with Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley. In addition, Chris Chang is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator. (See below for a full list of the paper's authors.)

The more carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere the warmer the atmosphere becomes. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is now at its highest level in at least three million years, primarily as a result of the burning of fossil fuels. Yet fossil fuels, especially coal, will remain a significant source of energy to meet human needs for the foreseeable future. Technologies for sequestering carbon before it escapes into the atmosphere are being pursued but all require the captured carbon to be stored, a requirement that comes with its own environmental challenges.

The artificial photosynthetic technique developed by the Berkeley researchers solves the storage problem by putting the captured carbon dioxide to good use.

"In natural photosynthesis, leaves harvest solar energy and carbon dioxide is reduced and combined with water for the synthesis of molecular products that form biomass," says Chris Chang, an expert in catalysts for carbon-neutral energy conversions. "In our system, nanowires harvest solar energy and deliver electrons to bacteria, where carbon dioxide is reduced and combined with water for the synthesis of a variety of targeted, value-added chemical products."

By combining biocompatible light-capturing nanowire arrays with select bacterial populations, the new artificial photosynthesis system offers a win/win situation for the environment: solar-powered green chemistry using sequestered carbon dioxide.

"Our system represents an emerging alliance between the fields of materials sciences and biology, where opportunities to make new functional devices can mix and match components of each discipline," says Michelle Chang, an expert in biosynthesis.

"For example, the morphology of the nanowire array protects the bacteria like Easter eggs buried in tall grass so that these usually-oxygen sensitive organisms can survive in environmental carbon-dioxide sources such as flue gases."

The system starts with an "artificial forest" of nanowire heterostructures, consisting of silicon and titanium oxide nanowires, developed earlier by Yang and his research group.

"Our artificial forest is similar to the chloroplasts in green plants," Yang says. "When sunlight is absorbed, photo-excited electron?hole pairs are generated in the silicon and titanium oxide nanowires, which absorb different regions of the solar spectrum. The photo-generated electrons in the silicon will be passed onto bacteria for the CO2 reduction while the photo-generated holes in the titanium oxide split water molecules to make oxygen."

Once the forest of nanowire arrays is established, it is populated with microbial populations that produce enzymes known to selectively catalyze the reduction of carbon dioxide. For this study, the Berkeley team used Sporomusa ovata, an anaerobic bacterium that readily accepts electrons directly from the surrounding environment and uses them to reduce carbon dioxide.

"S. ovata is a great carbon dioxide catalyst as it makes acetate, a versatile chemical intermediate that can be used to manufacture a diverse array of useful chemicals," says Michelle Chang.

"We were able to uniformly populate our nanowire array with S. ovata using buffered brackish water with trace vitamins as the only organic component."

Once the carbon dioxide has been reduced by S. ovata to acetate (or some other biosynthetic intermediate), genetically engineered E.coli are used to synthesize targeted chemical products. To improve the yields of targeted chemical products, the S. ovata and E.coli were kept separate for this study. In the future, these two activities - catalyzing and synthesizing - could be combined into a single step process.

A key to the success of their artificial photosynthesis system is the separation of the demanding requirements for light-capture efficiency and catalytic activity that is made possible by the nanowire/bacteria hybrid technology. With this approach, the Berkeley team achieved a solar energy conversion efficiency of up to 0.38-percent for about 200 hours under simulated sunlight, which is about the same as that of a leaf.

The yields of target chemical molecules produced from the acetate were also encouraging - as high as 26-percent for butanol, a fuel comparable to gasoline, 25-percent for amorphadiene, a precursor to the antimaleria drug artemisinin, and 52-percent for the renewable and biodegradable plastic PHB. Improved performances are anticipated with further refinements of the technology.

"We are currently working on our second generation system which has a solar-to-chemical conversion efficiency of three-percent," Yang says. "Once we can reach a conversion efficiency of 10-percent in a cost effective manner, the technology should be commercially viable."


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Re: Research and Development; Invention and Innovation

Postby YMix » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:06 pm

Engineers purify sea and wastewater in 2.5 minutes

A group of Mexican engineers from the Jhostoblak Corporate created technology to recover and purify seawater or wastewater from households, hotels, hospitals, commercial and industrial facilities, regardless of the content of pollutants and microorganisms in just 2.5 minutes.

The system, PQUA, works with a mixture of dissociating elements, capable of separating and removing all contaminants, as well as organic and inorganic pollutants. "The methodology is founded on molecularly dissociating water pollutants to recover the minerals necessary and sufficient in order for the human body to function properly nourished," the researchers explained.

Notably, the engineers developed eight dissociating elements, and after extensive testing on different types of contaminated water, implemented a unique methodology that indicates what and how much of each element should be combined.

"During the purification process, no gases, odors nor toxic elements that may damage or alter the environment, human health or quality of life are generated," said the engineers.

The corporation has a pilot plant in its offices that was used to demonstrate the purification process, which uses gravity to save energy. The residual water in the container is pumped to the reactor tank, where it receives a dosing of the dissociating elements in predetermined amounts.

In this phase, solid, organic and inorganic matter and heavy metals are removed by precipitation and gravity; a sludge settles at the bottom of the reactor. This is removed and examined to determine if it is suitable to use as fertilizer or manufacture construction materials.

Subsequently, the water is conducted to a clarifier tank, to remove the excess charge of dissolved elements; then the liquid reaches a filter to remove turbidity and is finally passed by polishing tank that eliminates odors, colors and flavors. The treated water is transported to a container where ozone is added to ensure its purity, and finally is ready to drink. Indeed, the resulting liquid is fresh, odorless and has a neutral taste.

"We have done over 50 tests on different types of wastewater and all have been certified and authorized by the laboratories of the Mexican Accreditation Agency (EMA). Also, the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM), the College of Mexico and the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) have given their validation that the water treated with our technology meets the SSA NOM 127 standard, which indicates the parameters and quality characteristics for vital liquid to be used for human consumption," says a Jhostoblak statement.

Moreover, the company reports that this development is protected under trade secret in America and will soon have the same status in Switzerland. Its implementation in the market will depend on the needs of users and the issue of new laws regarding use and consumption of water discharge.
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