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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Abiotic Oil and the Origins of Life on Earth?

According to the article "Scientists find more oil fissures in Lake Baikal's bedrock"

...several Russian scientists going back as far as Dmitry Mendeleyev have suggested an 'abiogenic hypothesis,' according to which petroleum was formed from carbon deposits originating deep in the Earth's mantle...

Scientists find more oil fissures in Lake Baikal's bedrock

Lake Baikal: 6.3 magnitude earthquake

Note: If that is the case, then it would mean that life could have originated from hydrocarbons, something that seems very likely to me!

After reviewing the matter with the assistance of the abiotic folks over at Oil_is_Mastery (Anaconda and Oil_Is_Mastery), I've concluded that oil on Earth is actually abiotic in origin, just as it is on other moons around our solar system, meaning that sedimentary rock is not an essential part of the process. See the following two articles for a thermodynamic analysis showing that the Earth's upper mantle contains just the right conditions for producing abiotic oil:

The Constraints and the Laws of Thermodynamics upon the Evolution of Hydrocarbons: The Prohibition of Hydrocarbon Genesis at Low Pressures

The Evolution of Multicomponent Systems at High Pressures

One thing that I'd like to suggest is that life can arise from hydrocarbons, Stanley Miller experiment aside. Biological molecules (especially fatty acids) often do strikingly resemble hydrocarbons, so much so that perhaps life arose in the tar pits instead of the other way around? The existance of the first RNA and the arisal of life have been a major mystery for scientists. I know it's just mere speculation on my part at this point, but abiotic oil may be the starting point for life to occur.

Anyhow, if there is such an origin of life arising from abiotic oil tar, like I suspect, then this should be huge news.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Something about Water/Wastewater Treatment

(1) This is an image of a typical municipal surface water treatment plant. The water is stored at a dam or reservoir which acts as a pretreatment settling tank and then it is drawn down miles of canals until the water reaches the plant where the water recieves some type of treatment involving aproximately 1/8" prescreening and then a process of coagulation/flocculation/settling where the the colloidally suspended particles are caused to settle out in a settling tank. Then the water is gravity filtered through medias of gradually decreasing porosities where it is collected in an underdrain and then disinfected with chlorine before being dechlorinated with an air diffusion tank and then even further disinfected with UV radiation. After that, the water is stored high in a clear well before being boosted down into the municipal water distribution system where it is delivered to all the residential and commercial districts.

(2) The treated water distributed to all of the different residences, and the following shows a solar water heater that can actually be installed in the attic of somebody's house, there is a temperature dependent control loop that pumps water from the bottom of the water heater up through the solar collectors whenever the temperature sensor in the tank detects a decrease in temperature.... of course this only works in places that get plenty of sun.

(3) Here is a little lesson on how different types of pipes are utilized.
(4) This shows the typical residential drainage system for a house in a district where there are separate storm and sanitary sewer systems. The PVC pipe for the toilette drain is coupled to the air vent system so as to prevent sewer gas from eminating from the toilette, well, usually. Most houses that have a basement require a sump pump which collects water when the basement is flooded due to rain, and then pumps the water back up 8-10 feet and into the storm drain.

(5) Sump pumps have an automated float valve control system which triggers the pump whenever the basement fills up with water and the water level in the sump pit increases.

(6) Likewise, Sewage Pumps are needed in basement toilettes for the purpose of grinding up and then pumping the waste up 8-10 feet into the sewage lines.(7) This picture shows the high pressure underground distribution grids where the water is drawn through a meter and then into the hose/landscaping system or to the water softener/heater where the main manifold delivers the water to the rest of the house. Then the water goes into the main drainage collection system where it flows downhill to a wastewater treatment system which is similar to a water treatment system except that the water contains a high BOD or "Biological Oxygen Demand". The microorganisms aerobically consume the waste in the water in the aeration tanks, and they anaerobically digest the sludge in something called a digester (shown combined with "salad spinner" type centrifuge) where humis material is created which is used for firtilization of crops. The water that comes out of the secondary digestor (red circle) gets disinfected and the effluent is sent into a recieving stream, pond, or is applied to a golf course.Sources:
(1) Google Images
(2) Water Treatment Plant Operation: 6th edition, Office of Water Programs, Kennith Kerri
(3) Operation of Wastewater Treatment Plants: 6th edition, Office of Water Programs, Kennith Kerri
(4) Notes from Home Depot Product Knowledge: Plumbing Department

People who like this post will probably like these other posts as well:

Water Treatment Facilities and the Wastes Removed
Water Purification Methods and Applications
Comparison of Hydroligic Systems
Well Drawdown Tutorial
Drilling Equipment

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