07 August 2007

Boric Acid Nanoparticles: Making Motor Oil Slicker than Teflon

All motors and engines with moving parts need lubrication. The better the lubrication, the better the machines will last over time. Back in 1991 Ali Erdemir, scientist at Argonne National Labs, discovered that microscopic particles of boric acid improved lubrication in automobile engine parts. Now, using nanoparticles of Boric Acid in motor oil, Erdemir claims that he can reduce fuel consumption in automobiles by up to 5%.
In laboratory tests, these new boric acid suspensions have reduced by as much as two-thirds the energy lost through friction as heat. This could result in a four or five percent reduction in fuel consumption, according to Ali Erdemir, senior scientist in Argonne’s Energy Systems Division.

Erdemir received an R&D 100 award in 1991 for showing that microscopic particles of boric acid could dramatically reduce friction between automobile engine parts. Metals covered with a boric acid film exhibited coefficients of friction lower than that of Teflon, making Erdemir’s films the slickest solids in existence at that time.

Reducing the size of the particles to as tiny as 50 nanometers in diameter solved a number of old problems and opened up a number of new possibilities.

...Until recently, most of Erdemir’s work in boric acid lubrication had been restricted to motor oils, principally because of the relative bulk of the larger particles. The move to the nanoscale, however, has opened up other possible uses of the chemical. Through a simple chemical reaction, nano-boric acid can be transformed into a liquid relative of boric acid that has shown potential to increase fuel lubricity.

Using this liquid analog of solid boric acid as a fuel additive on a large scale could benefit the environment, both because it would help to increase fuel efficiency and because it would replace existing fuel lubricants—such as sulfur.
SourceHat tip Transterrestrial Musings

Better lubrication is not glamorous. But in the long run, it is these incremental, boring improvements that will turn the corner in the quest to make industrial society a green society. Better lubricants, better bearings, better couplings and gaskets, better clutches and transmissions. All of these boring things that make most people fall asleep--if they ever think about them at all--are incredibly important behind the scenes foundations of our world as we know it.

You do not expect psychologically neotenous, academically lobotomised, pathological narcissists to think about, nor understand, all of the things and people that make their affluent lives possible. They don't. But for the insightful person who does think about how things work, and creates an incrementally better way for these things to work--life can be very, very good.


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Blogger Cedric Morrison said...

"Psychologically neotenous, academically lobotomised, pathological narcissists"--you have been using these terms a lot the last several months. I take it you are a Canadian with extensive experience with the United States. In your estimation, to what percentage of the current adult population (>18 years old) of these two countries do your terms apply? I infer that you believe that this percentage as recently increased. Do you have a birth year in mind for the first cohort this increase affected?

Saturday, 11 August, 2007  
Blogger al fin said...

Psychological neoteny is perpetual adolescence. Indefinitely postponed maturity. It has always been a problem for the narcissistic affluent who pamper their children, and isolate them from genuine responsibility and exposure to the mechanisms of the real world during their growing years.

Academic lobotomy is the coup de grace that a monocultural academia administers to a psychologically neotenised mind.

Pathological narcissism allows the process to continue in a self-reinforcing manner, generation after generation. (of course such a society will eventually be overrun)

These are not binary terms, all or none. Instead, they reflect dominant mind states in individuals.

Many narcissists are eventually capable of genuine empathy, given the proper stimulus. (consider Scrooge in Dickens) Likewise many psychological neotenates can mature in a stepwise manner, given the necessity.

Similarly, academic lobotomy is not necessarily permanent destiny. Consider all the graduates of Communist schools, and religious seminaries and schools who have transcended their programming.

If I had to guess, I would say in excess of 50% of adults under the age of 60 are affected. (baby boomers and younger)

The process began with the affluence in North America after World War II, and the good intentions of many who, having experienced the deprivations of the great depression, decided not to let their children go without "anything they wanted".

Mandatory irrelevant and ineffectual education combined with isolation of children from the general world of work and responsibility, with few meaningful rites of passage, widened and reinforced the disability.

The process did not genuinely accelerate until university faculties (including schools of education faculties) became populated by faux multiculturalist groupthought in the 1970s and 1980s.

Collectivist thinking combined with societal affluence percolated from universities and schools of education into almost all nooks and crannies of society--including many church organisations.

Eventually, for most government school educated and university educated children, the only residual zeitgeist was one of groupthought, submission of independent thought to consensual "thought" and decision making. And a vague distaste for the thinking of the western enlightenment.

There was no longer any banner around which society could rally, should the need to defend the society from outside attack occur. Instead, by consensus, society was broken down into competing tribes with little in common.

Sunday, 12 August, 2007  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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