* Posts by Ebenezer Cooke

2 posts • joined 13 Feb 2008

BOFH: Snout, meet trough

Ebenezer Cooke


Sympathetic Access Recombinant Software, using Bluetooth as point of entry into a network: I'm speechless with admiration.

This story has brought the BOFH series to a level of sophistication way beyond the reach of the average nagging BOFH fan. It is entertaining to the regular Reg readers, but also a special treat for the multiscientific connoiseur - a stoke of genius if there ever was one. Congratulations. This episode alone IMO is sufficient for a permanent place in The Cyber Hall of Fame.

Mine's the one with the Nobel Prize for literature in the pocket. I'll be waiting outside to give it to Simon next time he comes around.


US scientists puncture the ethanol biofuel bubble

Ebenezer Cooke


Baking soda is NaHCO3. Calcium carbonate is limestone or chalk. You can catch CO2 with Ca(OH)2 - calcium hydroxide. But the technical process of producing calcium hydroxide means that you have to remove carbon dioxide from limestone by heating it to high temperatures. So you need to take care of two CO2 molecules for each molecule you sequester as calcium carbonate. To me this seems like a futile circle.

If you really want to make baking soda, you will still have the Solvay process which was invented when ammonia was expensive and lime was cheap. No net catching of CO2 there.

Or you could use Hou's process, which is the present industrial fashion. But then you have to find a cheap enough method for making ammonia, and a good way of disposing of the ammonium chloride.

And you may need to take care of a million tons per site per year.