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Topic: Alfred Y.Wong and magnetic ejection of CO2 into outer space.  (Read 11493 times)

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Offline tasmodevil44

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Professor Alfred Y.Wong is director of the Plasma Physics Laboratory at UCLA,and director of the HIPAS Observatory at Fairbanks,Alaska (My error:I originally thought this guy was Japanese,but the name "Wong" sounds more like a Chinese name.Unless there's more than one person with similar ideas).

      He proposes using a combination of electromagnetic waves and the Earth's own magnetic field to expel CO2 emissions into outer space.Though the scheme sounds far-fetched,it is based upon some perfectly sound physics.

      Though the concept is still in it's infancy,Wong has already determined that the energy requirement of the project,even if met by fossil-fuel powered electricity,would result in less carbon dioxide being put into the atmosphere that shipped out.

      One version of the scheme is to have a large microwave antenna array close to the North Pole that is powered by a large nuclear power plant.The microwaves working in conjunction with the Earth's own magnetic field would accelerate the carbon dioxide molecules until they reach escape velocity from the Earth's gravity and never return.Another version is to use powerful lasers to do the trick.

      More about this scheme for venting greenhouse gas into outer space can be found at this website:

      http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/06/venting_our_problems_away.php

      I know it all sounds a bit far-out,but Wong's scheme is all based upon perfectly sound facts of physics.

Offline azmanam

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Re: Alfred Y.Wong and magnetic ejection of CO2 into outer space.
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2008, 02:24:50 PM »
Couplea thoughts...

First, nuclear power plants require recirculating water, usually from the lake on which it is built, to provide the heat sink to cool the turbine-driving steam emitted from the water that was heated by the fission reaction.  Have you swam in a lake on which a power plant is located?  It's like bath water.  Heating the Artic water that much would melt ice much faster than global warming, and is something Prof. Wong will have to take into account. (which I'm sure he has)

Second, how does Prof. Wong control the ionization process.  That is, how does he plan to selectively ionize CO2 and not water, or oxygen, or ozone.  What is the mechanism of ionization?  Is it radical ionization?  Radical decomposition of ozone is the mechanism by which CFCs were shown to be causing the ozone hole.  Cl[dot] takes O[dot] from O3 to from ClO and O2.  If the ions produced by Prof. Wong's proposal hits ozone instead of CO2, I could imagine this process becoming accelerated.  How has Prof. Wong proposed selectively ionizing only CO2?

Third, in the microwave proposal, am I assuming correctly that the microwaves provide energy to the carbon dioxide which is converted to kinetic energy which the carbon dioxide uses to increase translational speed such that the molecule reaches escape velocity and exits Earth's atmosphere?  Again, how does he propose to selectively irradiate CO2 and nothing else?  And how much energy is needed to propel a molecule to escape velocity.  I imagine it is not a trivial amount.  If it were a trivial amount, those molecules would likely have already left the atmosphere naturally.  Additionally, how do you control the conversion to kinetic energy and not to heat?  That is, how do the microwaves selectively accelerate the molecules and not just heat them?  Carbon dioxide is not polar, so Dielectric heating is probably not operative, but the water molecules surrounding the carbon dioxide could easily become heated, and could transfer that heat to the carbon dioxide (and anything else within collision distance).

Need to see more scientific details, please.
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Offline tasmodevil44

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Re: Alfred Y.Wong and magnetic ejection of CO2 into outer space.
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 02:58:04 PM »
Yes,I have considered that possibility myself (ozone layer destruction).As for the microwave method,it has been shown that different frequencies are highly selective for different molecules.This is the principle behind the new emerging field of microwave chemistry.For example,the kitchen microwave oven works on a frequency specific to water and nothing else (although this is an example of thermal transfer without a reaction)Perhaps this is how to single-out CO2.

Offline azmanam

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Re: Alfred Y.Wong and magnetic ejection of CO2 into outer space.
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 08:28:58 PM »
Professor Wong does not have his CV posted on his faculty profile page at UCLA (http://personnel.physics.ucla.edu/directory/faculty/index.php?f_name=wong_a).  But I SciFinder-ed his name to look at the literature he has produced.  Nothing in the peer-reviewed literature on the CO2 removal you speak of, but a number of papers, patents, and presentations on plasmas of various kinds.

I know little to nothing about plasmas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_(physics)), but here's Wikipedia's intro:

Quote
In physical and chemical usage, plasma refers to an ionized gas, in which a certain proportion of electrons are free, rather than being bound to an atom or molecule. The ability of the positive and negative charges to move somewhat independently makes the plasma electrically conductive so that it responds strongly to electromagnetic fields. Plasma therefore has properties quite unlike those of solids, liquids or gases and is considered to be a distinct state of matter. Plasma typically takes the form of neutral gas-like clouds (e.g. stars).

It's the part about responding to electromagnetic fields (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetism) that changes the discussion on this topic.  While it is very true that neutral carbon dioxide is not magnetic (I used dry ice in my experiment today.  The reaction mixture was agitated with a magnetic stirrer, and the dry ice didn't respond - even in bulk), I cannot make a judgment about carbon dioxide in the plasma state (which is perhaps the logical conclusion of these discussions and professor Wong's literature history?).  Perhaps some kind of CO2 plasma (if that's even the right terminology) could be made to respond to a magnetic field in the manner you describe.  I doubt it, but I don't know anything about plasmas.

My same questions persists: how do you selectively target CO2, etc.  But I will refrain from a summary dismissal of the topic until more peer-reviewed literature is presented.  Tasmodevil: do you have any?  I can't find any.

I remain highly highly skeptical, but am prepared to examine the literature and learn more.  I'm not yet convinced this is physically possible, let alone logistically possible.  Another thought I had:  Is disrupting the nominal amount of carbon on Earth by dispelling an amount of it into space a good idea?  As far as I know (and I readily stand to be corrected), we aren't importing a lot of carbon from space.  I don't think meteors and meteorites contain statistically significant amounts of carbon.  Thus, the amount of carbon on earth should have remained relatively constant throughout its existence.  Is it presumptuous or otherwise consequential to disrupt that amount of carbon on earth?  There are always consequences to actions, and I'm not sure this one has been mentioned.
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Offline billnotgatez

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Re: Alfred Y.Wong and magnetic ejection of CO2 into outer space.
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2008, 01:03:57 PM »
So we send all our carbon into space - interesting choice for carbon based life forms

Offline tasmodevil44

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Re: Alfred Y.Wong and magnetic ejection of CO2 into outer space.
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2008, 06:40:36 AM »
billnotgatez,it would send only a tiny fraction of planet Earth's carbon into space.We are not anywhere even close to depleting all of it anytime soon.This would be only a short-term stop-gap measure to halt global warming until we get more nuclear,renewable biofuels,and etc.Provided of course,we don't continue to squander the extra time the Alfred Wong concept buys us.We should continue trying to kick the excessive carbon addiction in the meantime.

      As for the second question by amanam about various kinds of molecules having their own specific resonance frequencies for microwaves,this is pretty common knowledge that is easy to verify.This is what the new emerging field of microwave chemistry is all about these days.Just type into a google search:"microwave catalyzed reactions"and all sorts of things about molecules responding to specific frequencies will pop-up.Water has it's own specific radio resonance frequency which a kitchen microwave operates on.Although in this instance this is thermal transfer without any chemical reaction.Sometimes there will be only thermal transfer with some chemical substances.Other times highly efficient catalysis with little heat transfer.Other times,a little of both.

      But I was wondering about in the case of Alfred Wong,is this how he plans to single out CO2 for ionization without harming ozone or anything else?

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