Coal Mining and The Most Beautiful Molecule

28 03 2012

Carbon C60 A Beautiful Molecule?

Go Con-Figure

The most beautiful molecule is said to be carbon C60 and variants, known collectively as Fullerenes. The C60 story is both a wonderful treasure trove of delights and by turns unspectacular fizzers. It is all part of our current mysterious and marvelous history. In 1996, for the discovery of the structure of C60 (see picture above) the Royal Swedish Academy awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Kurl, Kroto and Smalley. Fact: In the 1990s there were more chemistry papers written about Carbon C60 than any other Chemistry subject by a factor of approximately 9 to 1. The extraordinary discovery of C60 (Bucky Balls & Fullerenes) heralded the warm glow of great hope . . . in many hearts, for scientific breakthroughs rarely see such wonder. Up until now it seems that the most significant outcome from C60 is Carbon nanotubes . . .all very well but it’s not exactly what was initially euphorically envisioned. A whole new industry will one day flourish based on the unlocked secrets of C60 for the production of super strength light-weight materials and the pricincipal raw material will be, without a doubt . . . COAL! And so today C60 is still virtually sitting on the shelf. It is a veritable sword in the stone. Perhaps we need a Lady of The Lake for Modern times and Fullerenes. Who can unlock this great secret? Well . . .if miracles take a little longer that we might at first imagine the wisdom says be realistic and demand the impossible.Go Con-Figure

On the flip side of the C60 story is, entirely appropriately, one of history’s most fascinating counter-points. Namely that the people of the world are now threatened with multiple calamities due to the burning of fossil fuels. If you can follow the story here . . .one of the principal forms of fossil fuels that we burn is coal – a product made up mainly of carbon.Yes . . .yes. . . yes. It’s a case of – you can laugh or you can cry.Go Con-Figure

Now it just so happens that Australia is the world’s leading producer of coal. And in pursuit of this black treasure, assorted billionaires and various governments are happy to oversee the mining of coal, with courts, guns and prisons at the ready should should any be foolish enough to try to stop them. Never mind the destruction to the environment, sensitive eco-systems, endangered species, trampling on the rights of farmers, tourism, Aboriginal sacred sights and God knows what. If you happen to be in the way of the black coal juggernaut then look out.  In Australia we are taking out of the ground around 500Million Tonnes of coal annually (we couldn’t verify the exact figure because the Australian Coal Association do not appear to publish this most basic fact on their PR heavy web site). More than half of which is exported to China, Japan, India and numerous other countries. One way or another it gets burned resulting in huge quantities of Carbon Dioxide being expelled into the atmosphere.  According to a recent calculation if we made a column of coal 1 metre by 10 metres out of the coal we dig up every year in Australia . . .it would reach to the moon. Freaky stuff.And people wonder how our burning of fossil fuels could influence climate. Unbelievable. Let’s do our best to wake those people up. It must now be understood that any who organize against the simple fact that burning fossil fuels is causing climate change are in truth now guilty of crimes against humanity. One day they may be so charged. We can only imagine that history will judge these pilferers of the common good and security not at all well. We must wish such deformed wrongdoers and all who conspire with them the very best of luck, because it is highly likely that they will need it. Go Con-Figure

The truly extraordinary facts

Truly Extraordinary Fact No’1: Clean and safe clean energy technologies called Zero-Point energy devices (among other things) have been routinely shut down and hidden from the public for the past 100 or so years. This started with Tesla and continues to the present day.

Truly Extraordinary Fact No’2: The carbon contained in the coal we are burning – principally to fire coal power plants – could be used in materials using compositions based on Fullerenes to make super strength light-weight products for all kinds of structural, engineering and building materials.

The solutions are just beyond our fingertips. Does the video below really show us how to build a free energy device.? Go con-Figure 

Carbon – The Most Beautiful Molecule?

13 12 2011

Carbon is the Celebrity Atom

Carbon is the celebrity atom and molecule of the 21st Century. Everybody seems to be talking carbon at the moment. We are going 2C the carbon molecule C60 in different outfits strolling down the molecular red carpet. Murdoch’s lackey’s and hangers on of the press will be there lapping up every saucy detail of carbon’s latest trysts. Carbon was seen arm in arm with Patsy Polymer at a night club in Rome. Carbon rumoured to be having an affair with a heavy metal group. Woo woo kinky carbon!.

Carbon may be clogging up the atmosphere right now but overexposure doesn’t seem to have tarnished Carbon’s super star celebrity status. She is a wild whirlwind of plastic power and her story’s just begun. To understand the importance of this concept you would be well advised to acquire a copy of Hugh Aldersley-Williams’ great book: The Most Beautiful Molecule – copies avail on Amazon used from 16c – yes it’s like getting it free, but you still gotta pay for postage.

Here’s the thing . . .the carbon C60 molecule was discovered in the 1980’s and named after Buckminster Fuller – the guy who reprised the geodesic dome etc. Major counter culture icon – fondly AKA Bucky.And because the C60 is basically the shape of a geodesic which is kinda like a soccer ball . . .well they named these things after Bucky. Bucky Balls and variations – Fullerenes.

Carbon nanoballs resemble soccerballs

Soccerball image courtesy Visual Paradox

In the 1990’s according to Aldersley-Williams ninety percent of all chemical papers written were about Carbon C60. It was one of THE big scientific breakthroughs of the late 20th century. Rudolf Steiner from earlier in the 20th Century, tells us that Carbon is the great plastic synthesiser which is why its used by nature as a basic building block for all organic life. Now in the relatively newly discovered form of carbon C60 – we can synthesise super strength materials that have the hardness of diamond and the lightness of plastic. The combinations are also endless so enterprising types have no need to get bored playing with carbon. Party!!! Turns out Carbon is the power social networker of the periodic table. Once again it’s not so much what you know as who you know, and carbon knows everyone – or is a very serious social climber. Perhaps both.

But if carbon is the celebrity atom apparently she is going to shock the world by hanging around a lot more with trashy types found in garbage dumps. Once this crowd of flotsam and jetsam have been to rehab carbon’s manager is going to get her together with them and form a new super group. It seems most of our construction and material supplies will inevitably come from synthesized combinations of carbon. Raw materials supplied via the molecules buried in garbage dumps and elsewhere. But where is all the carbon going to come from?

When more entrepreneurs wake up to Carbon’s celebrity atom status her carousing days may be short-lived. Instead of running wild with Oxygen and Nitrogen she will be told she has to grow up. Money making industrialists and entrepreneurs will capture her at point of coal burning from power stations. . .in fact they may choose to bypass this stage altogether when they realize that burning coal is an exercise in stupidity and  . . .here’s the kicker coal is more valuable as a building product raw material par excellence. Ditto for oil. Come on Carbon you superstar! Time to wake up and smell the coffee!  Forget about these grungy coal power gigs. There are bigger plans for you. Just don’t tell anyone. It’s a marvelous night for a Moondance.


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