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 |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
Haute Cuisine On International Space Station
'The gas gave sufficient heat for the culinary apparatus…'-Jules Verne, 1867.
Pasona Office Building Is An Urban Farm
To what extremes of temperature and humidity would you accede in order to be more green?
Plantscraper From Plantagon
'A towering eighty-story structure like the office "In-and-Out" baskets stacked up to the sky.'- Pohl and Kornbluth, 1952.
The Most Expensive Burger Ever Made?
'the carniculture plant where any kind of animal tissue we wanted was grown--Terran pork and beef and poultry...'- H. Beam Piper, 1962.
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.
Haute Cuisine On International Space Station
'The gas gave sufficient heat for the culinary apparatus...'
Tongue Mouse Created By Valve Engineer
'He pressed hard with his tongue against his right upper first molar.'
K5 Autonomous Data Machine The Future Of Mall Security
''Halt!' A robot guard appeared...'
RF Safe-Stop Shuts Cars Off
'...a police control-override.'
Army's New Bird-Like Surveillance UAV
'The prototype blue-bellied, gray-backed tracer-bird with the wide-angle eye...'
Honda's Tumblebug - The UNI-CUB beta
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
NASA's LADEE Enters Lunar Orbit
'... dust normally on the surface picks up and keeps a charge.'
3D Printing An Entire Car
"... Almost as good as the original it was printed from."
Aldebaran Robot Talks Like C3PO - Almost
'See Vee Threepio - Vee for versatility - at your service...'
Google's Skin Tattoo Lie Detector
'Three and a half centimetres in diameter, permanently fixed in the centre of his forehead.'
inFORM Dynamic Shape Output Device
Like that pushpin device you remember, but supercharged.
Owlet Vitals, The Future Of Baby Monitoring
'In every diaper there is a fine copper wire...'
Robert Heinlein, Your Personal Electric Helicopter Will Be Ready In 2016
"They were half way home when a single flyer, hopping free in a copter harness, approached the little parade."
WildCat Runs Faster Than You, Untethered
'...moving with such drifting ease that it was like a single solid cloud of black-grey smoke blown at him in silence.' Almost.
HiBot's ACM-R5H Robot Video Shows Graceful Terminator-Style Swimming
'No! No! Aaaaaaarrrrrrgh!'
tDCS Jumpstarts Your Future
'We invented a scanner that can change the labyrinthine neural connections of the brain by tiny electronic impulses...'.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories