Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

 

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 ")

Microbial Protein Production More Efficient Than Crops
'It's the food situation I'm worried about...' - James Blish, 1950.

NASA's Deep Space Food Challenge!
What's your favorite science fictional space food? How about your favorite REAL space food?

XROOTS eXposed Root On-Orbit Test System
'He was used to the miraculously rapid growth of plants fed with a solution of minerals, but this was too much.' - Maria Moravsky, 1940.

Stellar Pizza Is A Pizza Robot That Comes To You
'No hand touched the food...' - Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1912

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Current News

LoadRunner Robot Works Alone, Or In A Group
'They marched in unison, seven of them...'

Sierra Space Inflatable LIFE Habitat Burst Pressure Test
'It was like being inside a balloon...'

Longest Immersed Tunnel Will Connect Denmark and Germany
'... iron tubes... the ends of the tubes were joined to each other...to preserve it from the action of the seawater.'

Alcohol-Sensing Cars - NTSB Catches Up With Philip K. Dick (1963)
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive....'

Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'

SolarBotanic Tree For Solar Energy - Would You Need A Forest, Or Just One?
'The slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...'

Metaverse Hardware - Run And Flail Like A Maniac, Or Lie Quietly?
'Holodeck 4 was waiting to be programmed...'

Robot Food Delivery Coming To Campus Near You
'... he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Are Craiyon Images Puddinged, ala Philip K. Dick?
'I stood in line for half an hour for this, and it's just a blob!'

Hip'Safe Airbag For Seniors, From Helite
'Other airbags go off around her torso and pelvis...'

Soulaje Self-Administered Euthanasia Wearable Prototype
'A young man... advanced with nervous strides along the gravel path which leads to the bronze doors of the Lethal Chamber.'

Midjourney AI Creates 'Théâtre D'opéra Spatial', Wins Art Fair First Prize
'... we'll give him in his brain what he needs for creation.'

Mobot Robot Tests Smartphone Apps With Its Finger
'Rapidly, purposefully, the metallic fingers moved over the key-boards...'

Space-Based Solar Power A Priority - European Space Agency
'...vast man-made disk of metal set spinning about the sun to supply the Earth with power.'

Goldilocks Zones Found On The Moon
Hopefully, there are no Mynocks in shadowed lunar craters, chewing on the power cables of spacecraft...

Robotic Surgeons Outperform Human Surgeons
'...the objects moving about so gently and putting their instruments away were not living beings, but robots.'

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.