Posts Tagged ‘ Technology ’

HZO and HORIZONS VENTURES – The Origins

One of the best companies I check in on regularly, HZO,  just came out with an Origin Story of sorts.

From the article,

“Horizons Ventures seeks out disruptive technology focused start-ups that are driving positive changes for the future; these start-ups also have a track record of becoming household names after several years. Recent investments by the company include Hampton Creek Foods, Impossible Foods, Viv Labs and Muufri; the company also invests in companies in finance, artificial intelligence, mobile, and security.

Horizons Ventures was one of the first companies to invest in HZO in late 2011 by purchasing a $3 million stake in HZO as part of a preferred equity investment. Patrick Poon represents Horizons Ventures on HZO’s Board of Directors.”

If you want to know more about HZO, another recent article goes more in depth about their abilities,

“HZO offers the world an alternative to internal rubber seals and bulky, ugly cases. We don’t protect against water leaking into your device. We protect the components inside devices so it doesn’t matter if water gets in. HZO creates an internal seal around the important electronic components that run your device, creating a barrier between them and any liquid that could potentially cause harm.”

Reader Challenge,

Post in the comments what you would protect with HZO‘s Water/Corrosion Resistant abilities? 

Here is a Visual to get the imagination started.

HZO Image

Happy 2014! and Prompt

Hello Everyone!

I just noticed my last post was back in October. How did that happen? Guess my new job at EMC Corp has hogged all my time for the last two months.

I want to apologize to any that have come to visit this odd little publication and found no updates for such a long period.

This in no way means I have stopped my absorption of science and technology during my internet vacation.

OriginOil.com has premiered their permanent Technology showcase – LINK

Also a new method to turn freshly harvested algae into crude oil in 30 minutes was also posted over my break. – LINK

Emerging Objects had a wonderful showcase featured as well. Check out their Facebook page for news and updates. Here is some beautiful pictures from the site.

20140104-150601.jpg

20140104-150506.jpg

Yulex Corporation made some huge news with this announcement.

From Site – SGB Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company, and Yulex Corporation, a biomaterial company, announced today a collaboration to establish a genomics and molecular breeding platform focused on accelerating the crop improvement of Guayule as a sustainable source of biorubber that can replace traditional tropical or petroleum-based rubber for medical, consumer and industrial markets. – See more at: LINK

Of course CES 2014LINK – not much to say here, this is like a tech enthusiast’s Spring Break. Keep checking back for so much techie goodness.

There is a fantastic article on Elon Musk, which they mention the Falcon Heavy and the Model X, it gives me the shivers. LINK

Now for a Writing Prompt, because I said so.

Prompt – pick one of the companies above, read about one of their technologies, apply that tech in a new category of industry that they aren’t in yet, and try to show your audience how much impact that could have on a near future.

Example – OriginOil’s separation technology applied to the diary industry to enhance protein harvest and cheese making.

Have a wonderful first weekend,

Andrew

A New Type of Vessel for the Nuclear Industry

NOTE – Originally Written for some of my Nuclear Engineering friends on Thorium Energy Alliance.

A Little Hump Day Fun. Lighter Weight and Stronger Pressure Vessels/Systems using Composite Wraps for the Nuclear Industry. This one is a little long and many of the facts are Wiki-sourced.

I remember a few years back Americans got all huffy about not being able to forge reactor vessels anymore. We had the skills, but didn’t want the environmental thrills that came along with it (I know dumb rhyme).

But I say, why resurrect the old vessels at all? I know Molten Salt don’t need a main pressure vessel (the steam system will need a pressurized system so my idea still counts). But we haven’t got those approved yet and swaps of old reactor vessels could be worth it.

So what to do? A Reactor Vessel needs to withstand over 150 Bar, as well as handle over 600 F, along with corrosive elements in the water. Instead of using specialized 300 Series Steel Cladding and Liners, why not use some lighter alloys and composite wraps?

Average CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) Tank is rated at 2900 psi (199.95 Bar), while in the USA, CNG Tanks are rated for 3600 psi (248.21 Bar). What are these tanks made of you say? Usually Aluminum or Plastic/Rubber liners with a Carbon Fiber Composite Wrap (Hoop and Helical wrapping).

Modern Reactor Vessels can weigh in the 500 ton range and beyond. Those would be some large factories.

Image

(Dresden-2 reactor SOURCE)

The Stainless Steel cladding that helps prevent corrosion are usually around 1/4 inch. There is also Neutron reflectors made of Graphite, Beryllium, Tungsten Carbide, or other materials around the core to help wrangle in those wild neutrons while also protecting the reactor vessel from “belt” embrittlement.

The first CNG Tanks were in the mid thousand pound range. As the metal was replaced with lighter ones, or even plastic/rubber liners, along with the carbon fiber wraps a tank that used to weigh 1200 pounds could now weigh just over 100 with the same ratings.

Image

So my plan, pick the correct materials for the temperature flux, corrosion, and neutron reflecting materials for the tank liner, then wrap that baby up in some appropriately rated Carbon Fiber/Other Fibers which should reduce the weight of those suckers to the 21st century.

Image

As you can see, geometries are not really limited.

Again, I know the MSR reactors won’t need giant pressurized reactor vessels, but applying the same concepts to the pressurized piping in the steam loops could help cheapen or at least strengthen the system.

Now the fun part! Discuss, Refine, and get the Creative Juices going. Good, Bad, or even ugly let it be known in the comments.

PROMPT – I haven’t done one of these in a while, so write a letter to your local congress person (from a fictional person POV) about a technology that could benefit from Carbon Fiber Wrapping.

UPDATES, Employment Pivot, and Prompt

I know it has been a long time since I have posted on aJonster and I apologize about the amount of silence that has occurred, but that does not mean I have been idle with that time.

Over the next couple posts I will try to explain what has happened in my life that has caused such a great shift in my professional development, while also turning this audience onto a bunch of new companies and technologies I have stumbled across during my time of research.

First, ProNutria has an update page where its landing page used to be. I wonder what kind of announcements will be coming out in the next couple of weeks? I am hoping for their first Protein product, but it could really be anything, so fingers and toes will be crossed for that.

Image

A few hints to this so called Pivot. First a Vocabulary Word.

Carbon Fiber – A reinforcing fiber produced by the pyrolysis of an organic precursor fiber, such as PAN (polyacrylonitrile), rayon or pitch, in an inert atmosphere at temperatures above 1800 degrees F.  The term carbon is often used interchangeably with the term graphite, but the fibers differ.  Carbon fibers are typically carbonized at about 2400 degrees F and contain 93 – 95% carbon.  Carbon fibers can be converted to graphite fibers by graphitization at 3450 F to 4500 degrees F after which they contain more than 99% elemental carbon.  Carbon fibers are known for the light weight, high strength, and high stiffness.

Image

Second Hint, a Company Profile.

Yulex Corporation is revolutionizing rubber and energy production through sustainable, agricultural-based, latex allergy friendly solutions. The company harnesses crop science, zero-waste bioprocessing, and materials science for the production of biomaterials from the renewable, industrial crop guayule. Yulex’s biorubber, resin and biomass materials have medical, consumer, industrial and bioenergy applications. The company is based in the U.S. Southwest and has a growing global footprint. – See more HERE

Image

Third Hint, a curve ball.

OriginOil’s Electro Water Separation™ (EWS) system is a continuous process to efficiently remove oils, suspended solids, insoluble organics and bacteria. Electro Water Separation seamlessly integrates two proprietary technologies: Single Step Extraction™ and Electro Flotation.

Initial Algae Application

EWS was developed for the algae industry to solve the critical problem of how to extract microscopic algae out of up to 1000 times its weight in water at high speed, while using neither chemicals nor excessive energy. The first custom systems delivered to our pilot partnership only delivered extraction, relying on other vendors for the concentration stage. Later, we developed and integrated Electro Flotation, and we can now achieve the concentration level of at least 5% algae solids.

Frack Water Cleanup

EWS has since found a promising direction in removing petroleum and other organic compounds from water used in oil and gas production. Recently in third party testing, EWS recovered 98% of hydrocarbons in a test sample of frack flowback water. Frack flowback describes water used in a drilling process called ‘hydraulic fracturing’, or ‘fracking’. This test sample was taken from an oil well from which 200,000 gallons of oil-rich water flowed back over a period of two weeks. The water resources firm PACE Engineering supplied the sample and analyzed the results shown in this photo.

Additional applications are expected in industrial waste water recovery.

Image

Fourth Hint, I know this is breaking the literary rule of everything in threes, but I don’t care.

Glide SUP (Stand Up Paddleboards)

WANT A HIGH-PERFORMANCE, AMERICAN-MADE SUP BOARD THAT SCREAMS QUALITY AND VALUE?

If the answer is yes, we welcome you to join the thriving ecosystem of Glide enthusiasts across the country and globe -the SUP buyers, dealers, retailers and team riders whose passion and loyalty have fueled our rapid growth and made us the fastest growing manufacturer of SUP boards in the world.

HOW HAVE WE DONE THIS?

Inspired design 100%

Made in the USA

Versatile product line

Indestructability

Unparalleled performance

Compelling price points

And one more thing: we control every phase of the manufacturing process. This control provides a market agility that is unique in an industry dominated by off shore product. There is nothing nimble about waiting 8+ weeks for a container of imported Chinese boards to arrive and clear customs. At Glide, not a single element of the production cycle is outsourced. It all happens at our factory in Salt Lake City, the largest board manufacturing operation in the country. It’s this control of process flow and inventory that has made Glide such a trusted business partner to our dealers and retailers throughout the world.

But none of this means much of anything in the absence of product value. “Made in the USA” wilts in the market if it comes at a premium cost. Glide boards outperform and outlast other SUP brands by order of magnitude, and at price points that are in line with (and oftentimes lower) than the vast majority of the competition.

And we’ve got a board for every type of paddling you’re looking to do: recreational flat-water, high adrenaline whitewater, surf, race, yoga—you name it. We even make multi-purpose boards that do it all.

Image

SO WITH ALL THE HINTS, can you guess what kind of change has happened in my life?

Now for a little prompt.

PROMPT – Your character is 95% done with something majorly important in their life, now throw life at them to force their own pivot.

Thanks for being there,

Addictive Andrew

DOE’s Regional Clean Energy Business Winner – SiNode Systems and PROMPT

Good Monday All,

I apologize for the absence over the weekend but I had to graduate from College real quick. I thought to get back on track, I would do a Company Profile on one of the Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Energy Business winners SiNode Systems. Just check out all the giant checks they won at the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition!

Image

 

Here is the Caption to that picture – 

400 applicants. 42 selected competitors. 15 semi-finalists. 1 winner.

SiNode Systems took home the grand prize at the 2013 Rice Business Plan Competition, the world’s richest and largest business plan competition. In total, SiNode was awarded over $800,000 in prizes generously sponsored by the GOOSE Society of Texas, the OWL Investment Group, Mercury Fund, Greater Houston Partnership, U.S. Department of Energy, Trailblazer Capital, PKF of Texas, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, BBVA Compass, Miller, Egan, Molter & Nelson LLP, and others.

The competition was an incredible experience for the SiNode team, and we would like to thank the organizers and sponsors of the event, especially the Rice Alliance and Northwestern alumnus Brad Burke.

And I am Back

Congratulations SiNode Systems for winning the Western Southwest Region in the DOE’s competition! I wish you luck on the upcoming National Competition on June 11th and 12th. Here are the links to get to the information I first stumbled across that sparked this post.

Regional Winners of University Clean Energy Business Competition

Portal to the DOE’s Clean Energy Business Contest 

Okay, so for those wondering why I am writing about SiNode Systems, here is the DOE’s little blurb they used to describe the company for the competition.

Northwestern University, SiNode Systems

SiNode’s lithium battery anode technology addresses the two aspects of battery improvement, energy capacity and power density. SiNode Systems’ Si-graphene composite anode provides up to a ten-fold increase in energy capacity compared to the conventional graphite anode, and can increase energy capacity of a complete battery assembly by 50 percent to 100 percent. The graphene scaffolding of the anode provides for more flexible support and a faster charging of the battery, up to ten-fold increase.

Image

From the SiNode System’s Technology Page

The technology utilizes a composite material of silicon nano-particles and graphene in a layered structure. In effect, the flexible graphene scaffolds of our composite materials eliminate the rapid degradation of performance associated with silicon-based anode materials. In addition, in-plane nano-engineered porosity is introduced to the graphene layers, allowing rapid ionic diffusion through the structure.

Distinct Attributs 

◦ mechanically flexible

◦ electronically conductive

◦ abundant charge carrying capacity

◦ excellent high-rate lithium-ion storage capabilities

Scalability

In comparison to other competing anode technologies, SiNode has a unique advantage as a highly scalable and low cost solution for large-scale production. Much of the synthesis procedure for porous graphene scaffold and the resulting composite relies on solution-based chemistry (modified Hummers’ method). Readily available industrial equipment such as drying oven and centrifuges can be used to maximize efficiency during scaled production. No specialized or custom-made machinery is necessary for any step of the production process.

Furthermore, the unique characteristics of our anode provide a number of manufacturing advantages and could eliminate the need for certain components required by current Li-ion batteries.

Image

 

Now I don’t really have to say much about how great it will be to have extended battery life. To be honest, this isn’t even my favorite new battery technology, especially in the Graphene field, that is for later. But, SiNode Systems is one of the farthest along, while also being very scalable, which are both important for rapid market penetration.

Since this is a Company Profile piece and not a regular article where I meander my way through the almost infinite possibilities, I want to provide all the links to the site to give quick access to all the pages they have listed.

Home Page

News Page

Technology Page

Company Page

Contact Page

And of course no article on aJonester.com would be complete without a PROMPT.

PROMPT – Would having 100% more battery, that charges very quickly, make your character more or less aware of their battery bar on their electronics?

I will be trying to get more articles like this one and the ones before this one out into the InterWebz so anyone that is as curious as me can at least have a quick read about the innovations coming down the pipeline.

Have a Great Monday,

Andrew

Joule Unlimited and Joule Fuels Update/PROMPT

Hey Everyone!

As the close of my Creative Writing Degree draws nearer, those hard life questions have assumed a large amount of my time. But, I just can’t be quiet about some of the recent announcements that have come out of one of my favorite companies, Joule Unlimited and Joule Fuels.

First announcement comes from a press release posted on 4/15/13 that is a basic summary from a presentation at the Advanced Biofuels Leaders Conference 2013.

Joule Extends Solar CO2-Conversion Platform to Produce Renewable Gasoline and Jet Fuel 

– Joule today announced another industry first in renewable fuel production: the direct conversion of waste CO2 into the essential components of gasoline and jet fuel. The breakthrough gives Joule the opportunity to expand its Sunflow™ product line and help address global demand for true hydrocarbon fuel replacements.

– To date, renewable hydrocarbon-based fuel substitutes have required the complex, multi-step conversion of algal or other agricultural biomass feedstocks into fuel pre-cursors, and subsequent chemical upgrading. In contrast, Joule has engineered photosynthetic biocatalysts that convert waste CO2 into hydrocarbons through a patented, continuous process. Joule has been successfully scaling its process for making ethanol (Sunflow-E) while also developing long-chain hydrocarbons for diesel (Sunflow-D). With its latest breakthrough, Joule becomes the first company able to directly produce medium-chain hydrocarbons which are substantial components of gasoline (Sunflow-G) and jet fuel (Sunflow-J).

Click the LINK to check out more from the press release. But the important thing is Joule Unlimited has unlocked the potential to make Jet and Gasoline fuels on top of the already impressive Ethanol and Diesel variants by redefining what most EcoCritics call a waste gas (CO2) and using it to fuel (little biofuel humor) their Cyanobacteria factories.

If that sounds weird, don’t worry it is. But this is the essentially the same process as making beer. Real simply, Brewers feed yeast cultures simple sugars (mash) and the yeast cultures in turn produce the vapors that gets turned into alcohol. Here is an info graphic from PopSci that breaks that down.

Image

(Source)

That wasn’t the only tasty nugget of information that David Berry and crew had available. Looks like the Joule Unlimited family is expanding, with Joule Fuels. Their offices are even in The Netherlands! 

While looking around the new JouleFuels.com, I came across several new pictures of the camera shy production plant out in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Image

(Source

I can’t even count the amount of time I spent refreshing Google Maps when I first heard about this plant being built. Now, here it is, no blur or anything! 

Are you as Geek-ed up as I am about those pictures? Probably not, but if you have seen my previous work, you know I am uber-Geek when it comes Joule Unlimited, ProNutria, and many other fringe science projects (More on that in the coming posts).

I often ask myself, am I holding back some of the more technical details when I tell anyone who will listen about this technology. I mean, it is really hard to visualize something this odd. Well, Joule Fuels has a few more nuggets of awesome to share with us.

Image

 

(Source)

Now, I know this looks different from the old Solar Panel setup, but this design is a lot more efficient and has a lot less materials required to build, making large economies of scale a lot easier to obtain than the initial solid frame structures still found on Joule Unlimited’s site.

One thing that has always bugged me, is the amount of stealth some of these companies run when first starting. Well, Joule Fuels has one more fun nugget.

Image

 

(Source)

This was an even sweeter piece of information than the pictures of the plant. A freaking path to market page! April 15th, when I discovered all of this, could potentially be a mini Christmas for me from now on. I didn’t realize it at first, but I was in a Joule Unlimited dry spell. I found myself watching David Berry’s SolveForX Video over and over again. I checked rumor sites, websites, and comments on past articles to see if there was a nugget of something new (which actually lead me to the successful Google Maps search for the plant). But none of that compares to getting all of this new information and pictures!

I better stop for now. I will end it the way all my entries are, with a Writing Prompt!

PROMPT – Create a job/industry servicing the rapid expansion of building this technology. Your character will be brand new to this industry, bearing witness to some of the potential growing pains of an entirely new way of producing fuel from what humanity used to call waste.

PS – Just to make sure I don’t get in trouble for this, I am not associated with Joule Unlimited or Joule Fuels in any way, even though I would love to be. The views and opinions in this post are my own crazy fanboy thoughts. All pictures can be sourced by the links provided. I hope you enjoy this post, much more like it will be coming down the road.

The Wii U, Silly Nintendo?

Hey Everyone,

I know this will be my third post of the day, but it has been a busy one.

The Wii U was announced at the Nintendo Keynote speech at E3 today.

Check the LINK to Engadget.com to see the thing and all the video they could muster.

The most important thing to remember about the Wii U, or at least from all the articles I have read so far, is the fact that it can be played with all the current accessories of the Wii and it will also play all the Wii games.

I find the main controller very odd. It has a 6.2 inch screen in it. If you don’t want to play on the TV or if some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are currently being watched, you can play the game on that mammoth controller, while watching Michelangelo NOM NOM NOM that cartoon pizza.

I can’t decide if the Wii U is going to be a good or not. If the Wii U does not have the motion sensor abilities of the XBOX Kinect, I have a feeling that Nintendo will be behind the ball before it is even out.

I will admit that the controller is unique. But to bank the new system on something that is basically a tablet with oddly spaced controls, seems like a gamble. I have a feeling the new XBOX and Playstation systems could dominate this thing before the details for them are even released.

Of course this is all my opinion and I am just one guy sitting in a room, wanting some candy.

I have to finish this episode of Turtles,

Addictive Andrew

First from Addictive Andrew

Hello Everyone,

This will be my introduction to the world. I was on vacation due to my intense need for vacation. If this makes sense to you raise your mouse. If you use a track pad, do a little finger dance.

Enough SHENANIGANS (Word of the Day on my Word Calendar) time for some fun.

I was one of the lucky people to have enough attention span to watch the entire Apple Keynote yesterday where they talked about OS X Lion, iOS 5, and of course the new fluffy of the technology world, iCloud.

All of these things are great and wonderful if you have Apple branded to your forehead, but what if you don’t?

Well, a lot of the innovation that seems to ooze through Apple usually finds itself into the other tech brands anyway or they put a classic Apple flavored twist on something that has already been out on Android or Windows for a while and now have the you know whats (I hear they are quite big) to charge for these “new” features.

I don’t complain too much though because I may be writing this on a MacBook Pro, or I may be writing this on something else that didn’t cost a small chunk of my insurance money from when my house burned down. You will never know.

Well actually I do run on a MacBook Pro because I was tired of all the viruses. They seemed to plague me, stocked me even. It got weird for a while but I eventually socked away enough of that insurance money to buy this aluminum security blanket and don’t regret it.

My particular MacBook Pro is working on its third year and it seems like new laptops are still trying to catch up with it.

Which brings me to my questions of the day!

Apple, Windows, or Google (have to include them now because of the ChromeBooks that look so neat)?

Personally I run a little hybrid of the three. With a 4 inch Android phone (EVO 4G), a MacBook Pro, and a Windows-based work computer.

With all these different versions of software in my life, I have become almost software ADD, but I like it because it forces me to keep up on three different Operating Systems with a handful of supporting software. It basically keeps my day very busy.

The main Blogs for technology I use and most likely will be the source of the information you find on here are going to be listed right under this sentence.

Gizmodo.com, Engadget.com, Wired.com, Nextbigfuture.com (even though you may or may not need a freaking degree to understand half of their posts) PopSci.com, NewScientist.com, big fan of MacRumors.com, and a handful of other news type websites like NYTimes.com, MSN.com, Space.com, and SuperHerosHype.com (not for tech stuff, just like to keep up on my nerd every once in a while).

Of course there are many more but you can see why I say my reading list for the day gets quite busy when devoting myself to three different Operating Systems.

But it keeps my day interesting, my eyes bathed in the white glow of the computer screen, and my brain active instead of idle watching another stupid reality show that my fiancée (two e’s means girl just in case any one was wondering, thank you Snapple) has found and now I get to watch to appease her (advice from our wonderful Andy).

This post got long, off track, and wonderfully all over the place.

IF YOU FORGOT, THERE IS A DISCUSSION QUESTION IN THIS POST. Sorry cap-lock got stuck and now I don’t want to change it because it looks funny.

Discussion Question!

Apple, Windows, or Google? Or weird hybrid combination of the three?

I hope this didn’t get too weird for anyone. It got weird for me at one point, but I will forgive you guys for now. I am pretty good at the  forgiveness thing, you will figure that out about me.

Drew knows this. He stole a girl from me at the bar (I had a legitimate shot I promise) but I forgave him after he bought me my new Kindle (without Ads because how lame is that). If you don’t have one of these, get one. More on that later though.

Discuss or I will find you.

Have a crazy day!

Addictive Andrew