Waterproof Sand Could Green A Desert Planet

Waterproof sand, also called hydrophobic sand could increase food production as well as put off the coming water wars.


(Waterproof (or hydrophobic) sand)

By simply laying down a 10-centimetre blanket of DIME Hydrophobic Materials sand beneath typical desert topsoils, the new super sand stops water below the roots level of the plants and maintains a water table, giving greenery a constant water supply...

“It’s super thin,” Schulze said. “Every single sand kernel gets a skin, a coating, which encloses it.”

The nanotechnology coating is so thin, in fact, that it can’t be seen by the naked eye and measures 12,500 to 13,500 micro millimetres.

To date, it’s been approved by the Federal Environment Agency (FEA) in Germany which, according to German scientist Helmut Schulze, has issued a no-objection certificate for the product declaring it as ecologically safe.

The sand has been undergoing tests for more than a year; with date palms and grasses, researchers see a 25% increase in the root systems when using hydrophobic sand. Traditional watering of desert plants occurs five or six times per day; use of waterproof sand could reduce this to just one watering, according to researchers. The sand also prevents underground desert salinity from leaching upward.

Frank Herbert also had some thoughts about greening the desert; he wrote about chromoplastic dew collectors that could pull moisture from the air for small plants.

However, I'm thinking that if you wanted to go to the effort of coating each grain of sand in Dubai with SP-0HFS 1609, you might as well give every grain a 'brain' of nanotransistors as well. Then, we could construct a gigagnostotron like the one described in Stanislaw Lem's 1965 novel The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age.

The desert on our planet is in reality no desert, but a Gigagnostotron, in other words a good 10^9 times more powerful than this primitive device of yours. Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent..."
(Read more about Lem's gigagnostotron)

From Next Big Future.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/5/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Food ")

Pangorin Restaurant Service Robots
What'll you have? Jawa juice?

Chowbotics Salad Robot, Sally
'... gorgeous eating places where we were served entirely by mechanical apparatus.' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1912.

Tomatoes From Sun And Seawater
'Hydroponics. Gotta almost do it, if I'm going way out to Mars without much supplies.' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1961.

In Vitro Meatballs For SciFi Spaghetti
'Large laboratories in every city had produced synthetic food and meats, grown in large test tubes..." - David H. Keller, 1933.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Desktopography Makes Virtual Desktops Real
'Ender doodled on his desk, drawing contour maps of mountainous islands and then telling his desk to display them in three dimensions...'

LaWS Laser Can Take Out Rogue Drones
Looks like a weapon for the Runaway squad!

Moon Express Lunar Robot Mining: Shine On, Harvest Moon
'The bulldozer moved through the lunar strip mine... '

Liquid Body Armor For TALOS Exoskeleton
'... instantly became rigid all over when something struck it...'

Hyperloop One Video Shows It Works!
'Complete evacuation of the interior of the tubes [and] a wave that provides the new propulsive energy for the cars...'

Chairless Chair Exoskeleton By Sapetti
'Earth's scientists... devised rigid metallic clothing...'

Publishing Technologies In Science Fiction
Well, this should be enough references to start...

Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'Вы похожи на большую стальную гориллу...'

3D Printed Bionic Chinese Skin
Your skin is ready!

Flexup Tire Design Good For Tumblebugs
'Each spoke telescopes into five sections.'

3D Printed Graphene Aerogel - So Light!
'... light as cork and stronger than steel...'

Asteroid Deflection With DART
'This obelisk is one huge deflector mechanism...'

Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
'It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix...'

News Now Philip K. Dick's Bailiwick
'A vast complex electronic organism... responsible to no one...'

Autonomous BADGER Robot Drilling Machine
'The compacted matter... makes a better tunnel lining than concrete, don't you think?'

TALOS Exoskeleton Development Proceeding
'Suited up, you look like a big steel gorilla...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.