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BS: Why don't we make water?

michaelr 18 Oct 15 - 07:03 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Oct 15 - 07:25 PM
Joe Offer 18 Oct 15 - 07:33 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Oct 15 - 07:58 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Oct 15 - 08:02 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 15 - 08:29 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Oct 15 - 08:37 PM
gnu 18 Oct 15 - 08:37 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Oct 15 - 08:39 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Oct 15 - 08:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Oct 15 - 08:47 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Oct 15 - 09:07 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Oct 15 - 09:34 PM
Steve Shaw 18 Oct 15 - 09:37 PM
Bert 18 Oct 15 - 09:39 PM
GUEST,# 18 Oct 15 - 09:40 PM
Rapparee 18 Oct 15 - 09:41 PM
Ed T 18 Oct 15 - 10:02 PM
Joe_F 18 Oct 15 - 10:23 PM
michaelr 18 Oct 15 - 10:34 PM
Mrrzy 19 Oct 15 - 12:27 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Oct 15 - 01:34 AM
Joe Offer 19 Oct 15 - 02:38 AM
Mr Red 19 Oct 15 - 08:07 AM
GUEST,# 19 Oct 15 - 08:55 AM
Steve Shaw 19 Oct 15 - 09:13 AM
Rapparee 19 Oct 15 - 09:45 AM
GUEST,DrWord 19 Oct 15 - 09:51 AM
DMcG 19 Oct 15 - 10:37 AM
Mr Red 19 Oct 15 - 03:05 PM
GUEST,# 19 Oct 15 - 03:25 PM
Penny S. 19 Oct 15 - 03:35 PM
Donuel 19 Oct 15 - 05:00 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Oct 15 - 05:11 PM
Ross Campbell 19 Oct 15 - 07:23 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Oct 15 - 07:43 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 19 Oct 15 - 08:18 PM
Steve Shaw 19 Oct 15 - 08:58 PM
GUEST 20 Oct 15 - 12:33 AM
michaelr 20 Oct 15 - 12:48 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 15 - 04:16 AM
DMcG 20 Oct 15 - 04:42 AM
Steve Shaw 20 Oct 15 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,# 20 Oct 15 - 10:48 AM
MGM·Lion 20 Oct 15 - 12:36 PM
EBarnacle 21 Oct 15 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,mark 21 Oct 15 - 09:47 PM
JHW 22 Oct 15 - 05:31 AM
leeneia 22 Oct 15 - 05:24 PM
Steve Shaw 22 Oct 15 - 05:30 PM
MGM·Lion 22 Oct 15 - 05:39 PM
Ed T 22 Oct 15 - 06:35 PM
Ed T 22 Oct 15 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,mark 22 Oct 15 - 10:39 PM
MGM·Lion 23 Oct 15 - 12:16 AM

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Subject: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: michaelr
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 07:03 PM

So my grandson, who is 11, asked the other day: If we're in such dire need of water, why don't we make it ourselves? After all, it's a simple molecule - some oxygen, some hydrogen, mix `em together, and bingo.

I did not have an answer. I think I remember that those elements are quite combustible, but my recollection of high school chemistry is too vague to tell him anything useful. Who can help?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 07:25 PM

To make water, you need a lot of hydrogen. There's very little of that in the atmosphere. The only viable source of it is...water. We can make hydrogen from water by splitting the water molecule. Unfortunately, this takes a lot of energy. Though it's doable, a really large-scale economical method has yet to be devised. I think that one day we'll be able to use solar energy to power water-splitting. We can split water on a very small scale in the lab, and your grandson may well have seen it. We called the piece of kit Hoffmann's Voltameter when we were at school. You fill it with acidified water and apply a current to the platinum anode and cathode. The water is split and you get oxygen at one electrode and hydrogen at the other. There is twice as much hydrogen, nicely demonstrating H2O. The best way to get pure water is to purify water from reservoirs, rivers or the ocean. Getting pure water from sea water requires a lot of energy, and only a few countries do it, mostly those with very dry climates. If we could get hydrogen cheaply it would solve our energy problems and probably stop global warming, because when you burn it it releases a lot of energy, and all you get as waste product is water. It's a bit hard to handle, though, as it is very explosive in the presence of oxygen, but, one day, I think it will be a major energy source.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 07:33 PM

Let the record reflect that I agree with Steve Shaw.

There's a huge desalination plant coming online soon in San Diego. That's a ray of hope.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 07:58 PM

You could tell your grandson that water has some amazing properties, without which we wouldn't be here. It has the highest thermal capacity of any substance, meaning that the oceans can hold huge amounts of heat which keeps the whole planet equable. Most substances contract when they are cooled. Water does the same....until it reaches 4 degrees C, when, weirdly, it starts to expand again as it cools down. The upshot of this is that ice is less dense, instead of more dense as you might expect, than liquid water. That's why ice floats on top of your drink. That's also why ice forms on top of lakes in freezing weather. If ice followed the "normal rules" it would sink to the bottom and, eventually, the whole lake would freeze solid and everything in it would be killed. Instead, the ice on the surface actually prevents heat loss from the liquid water underneath by insulation. It's been calculated that if ice were heavier than water and sank, all the oceans of the earth would freeze solid and life on earth would not be possible. Clean water also has a film on its surface made of a single layer of water molecules holding hands. The force is so strong that this invisible, super-thin layer can float a steel needle or a pond skater. This surface tension is vital to plants as it helps water to grip the sides of the tiny tubes in the stem and move up through the plant, without which the plant couldn't exist. Pretty important when you consider how much the earth relies on plant life. Another unusual feature of water is that, unlike other substances, it can easily exist on earth as solid, liquid and gas in huge amounts at the same times. The interchange among the three is what drives our climate. Good stuff is water, and I haven't even mentioned its value as one of the best solvents in the universe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 08:02 PM

I read to my horror the other day that every single Californian almond that I eat took nine gallons of water to grow.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 08:29 PM

Catalina Islandd....off the coast of NewportBeach CA.. has been producing "solar water" from the ocean for nearly three decades.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 08:37 PM

Surface tension as a phenomenon is not confined to water.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: gnu
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 08:37 PM

I make water at least a half dozen times a day. It's inconvenient during the night but aged prostates don't seem to care. Bastards!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 08:39 PM

That is very interesting. I looked up the island and, though it has an ambitious sustainability plan, it also has a lot of issues, not least of which are its polluted beaches. To be honest, I couldn't find much about what you said. But it's late this end...


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 08:42 PM

Well it's a thread about water really, Richard, though I take your point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 08:47 PM

The almonds may involve an awful lot of water in the making, but it's still around, up in the sky or down in the ground.

Wouldn't be without it. Well, none of us would.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 09:07 PM

how come we're short of it. the polar ice cap is melting, its always pissing down rain and most people drink beer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 09:34 PM

Because 97% of it is salt water, a lot of the rest is always up in the sky and the stuff on the land needs a lot of cleaning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 09:37 PM

"The almonds may involve an awful lot of water in the making, but it's still around, up in the sky or down in the ground"

The problem comes when an area with seasonal water shortages diverts massive amounts in order to irrigate very thirsty nut trees. It is a major problem in California.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Bert
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 09:39 PM

Well said Gnu.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 09:40 PM

App. 28 million gallons (US) of water are produced by desalinization each year. See the following:

http://ecatalina.com/news/2015-01-12/Answers-to-Common-Questions-about-Catalinas-Water-Supply


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Rapparee
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 09:41 PM

There's lots of hydrogen out there in the Sun. And we've got the oxygen. All we have to do is move the hydrogen from the Sun to the Earth. Of course, we might shorten the life of the Sun by a billion years or so when we get this proposal working.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Ed T
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 10:02 PM

Great lakes facts 


""The Canada/USA Great Lakes contain 20% of the world's available freshwater supply -- the largest freshwater system in the world! Collectively, the lakes contain over six quadrillion gallons of water.""


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Joe_F
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 10:23 PM

"When I make water I make water. When I make tea I make tea." -- some Irishman, I think Joyce.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: michaelr
Date: 18 Oct 15 - 10:34 PM

Big Al, I live in California where we are in year 4 of a serious drought. Drinking beer won't help... much.

Steve, thanks again for explaining things rationally. You seem to have a knack for that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 12:27 AM

See the Martian movie - is he right? Take oxygen, add hydrogen, burn?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 01:34 AM

we could store water in underground lakes. potholers tell of great undder ground lakes. or is that impractical


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 02:38 AM

There are were huge underground lakes in the Central Valley of California, which was once an inland sea. Over the last four years, so much water has been pumped out for irrigation, that the ground has sunk several inches in places. That also means that the cavities for the underground lakes have collapsed, reducing or eliminating their storage capacity.

WE have lots of water in Northern California, maybe enough to sustain our agriculture if we didn't have to send a lot of water to the South. But since we do ship a lot of water there, we're having problems, too. Our rice and tree fruit crops use a lot of water, but they also provide habitat for water fowl and wetlands restoration. I sure hope we get water soon. If not, it will be a crisis for the birds on the Pacific Flyway.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 08:07 AM

we do make water. There are a number of Fuel Cell cars coming on-stream from Hyundai & Toyota. At a price right now. True we unmake water to get hydrogen first. But there are a few hydrogen making stations in the UK now, one uses a windmill to produce the electricity, and it vents oxygen into the atmosphere.
Unless electric cars have a better range and charge time the hydrogen Fuel Cell cars will become the driving force of the future, I predict.
Not sure how that will affect humidity if the majority of cars were Fuel Celled.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 08:55 AM

"See the Martian movie - is he right? Take oxygen, add hydrogen, burn?"

As kids--13 years old or so--we used to take dry cells and separate hydrogen from oxygen by putting the ends of wires from the positive and negative ends into water. (I don't recall from which the O or H came off as gases.) We collected the gases in overturned gallon jars. While that was going on we took the screw tops of the jars and put a spark plug in so that later, when we figured we had enough of the gases collected in the separate jars we screwed the tops back on and made them as air-tight as possible. We righted the jars and put them far away from us, probably the only smart thing we did. When we hooked up the wires again to a dry cell so we could spark the plug, one of the jars would explode. Possibly both jars would but I don't recall. I expect Steve would know. However, as Steve said earlier, getting the gases back to gether again requires much more skill(?) than we had as young teenagers, and I'm not sure we would have been all that interested because we just wanted to make things go boom. As noted earlier, it requires energy to separate the gases that form H2O. I expect it would require energy to put them back together again. We went through dry cells like crazy. We only did it twice because we couldn't afford to keep buying batteries. It was likely me who suggested we use 110-volt house current to do it but that blew fuses and I do remember getting what-for because of it. My mother wasn't happy tripping over things in the dark and she let the three of us (two friends and me) know about it in no uncertain terms. Thus ended our promising careers in the explosives/demolition industry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 09:13 AM

Well it's easy enough to recombine hydrogen and oxygen. Step well back and add a spark will do it! Safely controlling the process is the key to using hydrogen as an energy source. Liquid (compressed) hydrogen was a vital fuel in Saturn V rockets. As for affecting humidity, generally speaking the atmosphere would take care of that via the water cycle. There would be some effect but it would be far more benign than adding carbon dioxide, which is far more slowly dealt with, which tends to accumulate and which acidifies the oceans, not forgetting the greenhouse effect of course. And the hydrogen we'd be using would have come from earthly water in any case. We'd just be putting it back where we got it from, which was not from buried resources that have been undisturbed for hundreds of millions of years.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Rapparee
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 09:45 AM

No cheers for my idea of mining the Sun for hydrogen? Oh well! So okay, here's another way to make water:

NH4NO3 (aq) + KOH (aq) → NH3 (g) + KNO3 (aq) + H2O (l)

Of course, you then have to heat the resulting solution (the NH3 will float off as a gas) and turn the water in it to steam, but that could be distilled for drinking water.

No, no, don't thank me! Knowing that I introduced more KNO3 into the world is enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: GUEST,DrWord
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 09:51 AM

Yes, the water and tea thing is from "some Irishman", but Joyce is relating the conversation between two Irishwomen. After the line you cite, the second woman replies, "God send you don't make them in the one pot!"
[the gist of it, anyway]
keep on pickin'
dennis ~ off to vote ~ Canadian election today


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: DMcG
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 10:37 AM

One interesting calculation is to imagine a place with plentiful water and plentiful energy (and I mean lots!) and another place with a severe drought. One option is to send water tankers. Would it send more per tanker if we sent liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen and recombine them? (incidentally you could transport some of the energy as well as it is exothermic but it is a damn silly way of doing that!)

The actual calculation is left as a exercise for the reader. But I warn you you need understand moles before you start.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Mr Red
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 03:05 PM

As for affecting humidity, generally speaking the atmosphere would take care of that yes but there would be local concentrations. That would alter the micro climate.
Think. Big cities like London are what is called heat islands - the ambient temperatures are always a degree or two above the UK average at any one time. Cities would become humidity islands, and have a lower dewpoint for starters.

Now answering DMcG - you gotta get creative. Oxygen is about neutral in atmosphere and hydrogen is lighter, you could float the tankers to location. But - remember the Hindenburg story? It was raining that day I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 03:25 PM

"But I warn you you need understand moles before you start."

Mice, yes. Hamsters, yes. Rats, yes. Moles? That leaves me out then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Penny S.
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 03:35 PM

When I was at school we did the electrolysis of water thing, but had to lie about the results as they wouldn't let uas girlies have platinum electrodes like the boys at the grammar school, and the oxygen reacted with the carbon they supplied us with so we got the wrong amounts of gas.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 05:00 PM

The cost of energy to desalinate or even split water is expensive. 10 years ago I had an idea of how sound can do much of the work most cheaply and offered proof.

But what are the odds I am to be believed. The last time anyone believed me helped me make the deaf actually hear music for the first time. When I am not aligned with a bevy of engineers my ideas sound unlikely. A bevy of engineers?
A murder of crows, a gaggle of geese, a bevy of blondes but what is a group of engineers called?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 05:11 PM

Mr Red, I said there would be some effects. It's also worth pointing out that current vehicle emissions contain significant amount of water vapour. Your humidity island notion is very interesting. Some large cities have a nasty habit of trapping pollutants underneath a temperature inversion. I suppose excess water vapour would end up being a part of that. No such thing as a free lunch, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 07:23 PM

From the Corries (Roy Williamson and Ronnie Browne) live shows (I don't think they ever recorded this fragment). Somehow it stuck in my memory…

"Did ye ever see yer Granny making water
Down by the old mill stream?
She pishes for an hour and a quarter
And ye cannae see her arse for steam!"

Ross

PS I've apparently just consumed 70 gallons worth of almonds.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 07:43 PM

You must have eaten a broken one then, Ross, as 70 is not divisible by 9. Anyway, so have I, possibly considerably in excess of your consumption, and mine had Green's chocolate all round them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 08:18 PM

Much of the water in the earth's crust is chemically bound in the form of clay. Even if a piece of unfired clay is "bone dry", it still has water chemically bound to the silica and alumina molecules of which it is composed. When clay is fired to make a coffee mug or a brick, that water of hydration is driven out, thus increasing the amount of water in the atmosphere by a very small amount.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 19 Oct 15 - 08:58 PM

Just out a bit more water in your coffee and drink it, then you put that right. Voila!

Er, just a minute...


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 12:33 AM

Water is a good mix,with ice cubes as a plus.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: michaelr
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 12:48 AM

Ha, it's getting good here.

Reminds me of that poker-faced comedian Steven Wright, saying "I bought some dehydrated water. Don't know what to mix it with."


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 04:16 AM

I always buy my water ready-diluted. Adds bulk but so much more convenient.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: DMcG
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 04:42 AM

But how diluted, Steve? You have to be careful of those homeopathic effects, you know.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 07:50 AM

Dunno. I'll just go and read the label. I think the bottle might be next to that box of electrons I just bought...


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: GUEST,#
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 10:48 AM

Water can be quite dangerous. For example, one cubic inch of water that hits 100 C (or 212 F) will turn into 1600 cubic inches of steam. Useful in firefighting, but don't boil your stomach or you could explode.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 20 Oct 15 - 12:36 PM

I do; several times a day.

I thought everybody did.

Like him ·····

http://www.viator.com/Brussels-attractions/Manneken-Pis-photos/d458-a555

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 11:34 AM

How about a slipstick of engineers?

The problem with desalinization is the byproduct salts. Although the oceans have been getting fresher due to ice melting, the byproducts of Reverse Osmosis are concentrated salts which are toxic to water-borne life in the immediate area of the discharge. For an extreme example, note that the Persian Gulf is now a dead sea due to the amount of discharge from the states around it all using desal.

While RO is the cheapest approach in terms of cost per gallon, it is not the cheapest in terms of long term effects. Besides RO water tastes dead and has to be remineralized in order to be safe to drink. Drawing on Fossil Aquifers is not viable as these aquifers recharge either very slowly or not at all.

We are headed for a future in which open field agriculture will largely become a thing of the past, as most of the water currently used for agriculture evaporates and is wasted. I am an advocate for Atmospheric Water Generation as a long term solution.

Given AWG, it is possible to draw most of the water from the air, either in the greenhouse or from the ambient air or a combination of both. Greenhouse agriculture can be controlled in ways that open field cannot and can have an extended growing season. It is an approach which minimizes impact on groundwater and which does not demand as much in terms of disposal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: GUEST,mark
Date: 21 Oct 15 - 09:47 PM

A group of engineers is called a "confusion."

Ask any five of them the best way to get a gear to turn and you will get six answers and an argument! Oops, sorry. A professional technical disagreement!


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: JHW
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 05:31 AM

I read somewhere it takes 11,000 litres of water to make a Tee Shirt.
What price if we had to make the water first?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: leeneia
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 05:24 PM

It's of no practical use, but we produce water everytime we burn wood and similar materials.

We've probably all noticed water dripping out of vehicle exhaust pipes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 05:30 PM

"I read somewhere it takes 11,000 litres of water to make a Tee Shirt.
What price if we had to make the water first?"

An awful lot of gorgeous young women would have to go around bare-chested.

Next question...


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 05:39 PM

I still feel, as implied in my post a bit above, that the suggestive ambiguity in the thread title has been missed in a way not generally characteristic of Mudcatters.

I am not making this up. Here is a definition from Chambers Dictionary, under heading 'water':

make water to urinate

That is surely its sole colloquial meaning. Probably a bit late to alter the title at this time of day to something like

"Why don't we find a way of synthesising water?" or some such;

but I can't avoid a slight feeling of taken-abackness every time I see it.

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 06:35 PM

My water is recycled.
I recall Little Hawk had a medical use for it, "pee on your foot as a cure for the athletes foot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: Ed T
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 06:39 PM

I can normally tell a top notch restaurant. It's not by the food, or service, but by the ice cubes in the urinal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: GUEST,mark
Date: 22 Oct 15 - 10:39 PM

What is the point of that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Why don't we make water?
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Oct 15 - 12:16 AM

Piss is definitely the best remedy for athlete's foot. Not a myth but definitely works. & easy to organise in the shower.

≈M≈


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