I just finished a great book by Adam Rogers, “Proof, The Science of Booze.” It was fascinating history about the development of ethyl alcohol and the nuances of yeast, molds, aged wood and even the shape of a still that go into making our favorite alcoholic beverages. Even more fascinating was how much we DON’T know! (And why hasn’t some big drug company invented a Hangover Cure Pill? The market would be enormous!) For a chemist, and even for a lay person, this was a fun and fascinating book! MM
We have recently uploaded a new demonstration video to Youtube for our “Snow SAP” product:
This content will soon be linked to pages at www.m2polymer.com and at www.polymerSNOW.com. Please check out the video and give us some Facebook “LIKES”. Thanks a lot! MM
We are often getting asked “How much Waste Lock® super absorbent polymer will I need?” The answer is — It depends on the character of the liquid being absorbed. As we know, SAPs absorb by means of a diffusion gradient built into the backbone of the polymer chains. One gram of Waste Lock® 770 will absorb about 450 grams of DI water. But start adding cations (Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, etc…) to the water and absorbency starts to fall. One gram of the Waste Lock® 770 will absorb about 120-150 grams of tap/well water or 55 grams of a 1% NaCl solution.
The best way to gauge is to test a smal sample of waste with polymer to determine the absorbency ratio. If that is not possible — or if one is processing many batches of waste — measuring CONDUCTIVTY is an easy and effective way to determine the relative “challenging nature” of the waste liquid. It also allows waste processors to measure diffeerences between waste batches.
Conductivity is the ability of a liquid to conduct a current. It is the reciprocal of resistance (ohms) and is expressed as Siemens (S) or in many cases milli-Siemens (mS) or micro-Siemens (µS) per centimeter (cm).
The Conductivity of most DI Water is around 0.05 to 0.2 µS/cm. Distilled water is typically 0.4 to 0.7 µS/cm. Start adding cations and the Conductivity climbs rapidly:
Waste Water: 0.9 to 9 mS/cm (Note: milli-Siemens not µS/cm !!!)
Brackish Water: 1 to 80 mS/cm
Ocean Water: 50-55 mS/cm
10% NaOH: 355 mS/cm
The point here is to track the RELATIVE Conductivity of different waste streams. We sometime will get a call from a customer saying that “the super absorbent polymer is not working as good.” In practically every case, the customer’s waste has a much higher cation load (Conductivity) than an earlier waste batch. Hence, more sorbent is required.
Conductivity meters are easily and cheaply available on-line and many sell for as little as $100-$200. It is a fast, reliable, nondestructive, inexpensive and durable means of measuring the ionic character of a sample.
Another option is to measure Total Dissolved Solids (TDS). TDS is inferred from Conductivity and then expressed as PPM (mg/Liter). TDS is mainly used in fresh water systems and it counts both inorganic & organic constituents of the waste liquid. The relationship between Conductivity and TDS is:
2 µS/cm = 1 PPM of TDS (mg/L)
Either system allows a waste processor to evaluate new waste batches prior to processing and sorbent addition.
M² Polymer Technologies is pleased to announce their latest innovative product: TOTALSORB™-Plus! We are blending some of our Waste Lock® superabsorbent polymer with a unique form of Expanded Amorphous Alumina Silicate mineral. This combination allows users to rapidly dry up vexing oil and water combination in environmental remediation or in spill response.
Check out the video at:
M² Polymer Technologies, Inc.
The Daily Herald published my letter and rebuttal about the dangers of Mercury.
Title: Mercury is a Neurotoxin
I am writing in rebuttal to the letter posted Sunday by Donn Dears titled “EPA’s war against coal a disservice.” First, it must be noted that Mr. Dears is a self-styled “energy expert” (per his Linkedin.com page) with no college degree who runs something called TSAugust, a “volunteer think tank.” This group is a shill for the coal & oil industry and a group that denies Global Warming due to manmade CO2 generation.
I am staggered by this person’s illogic and lack of basic knowledge of toxicology. As for my qualifications, I am a degreed chemist (UIUC 1981) and the owner of a successful environmental specialty chemical company.
Dears regurgitates Fox News cherry-picked reports and he willfully disregards choices between Mercury sources we can control (coal fired power plants) and those that we cannot (volcanoes, natural deposits).
Mercury and its related compounds are powerful teratogens, carcinogens, and neurotoxins.
One of the earliest, large-scale health studies on Mercury from the 18th & 19th century involved neurological diseases among workers in the felt hat industry who were exposed to Mercury laden vapors. Hence, the term “Mad as a Hatter.” A single drop of Dimethyl Mercury can be absorbed through the skin and kill a 250 lbs man.
We cannot control natural sources of Mercury but only seek to avoid and contain them. We can, however, require the coal industry to implement necessary and cost-effective emission controls to remove this toxic compound from our environment and our children. The technology is reliable and not so costly as the coal industry portrays. It is pure greed and profit motive that drives the coal industry to feel that they should be able to pollute with impunity. To suggest, as Dears does, that somehow coal plant Mercury is magically “not a hazard” is ignorant and simply wrong.