Poseidon’s Desal Technology Obsolete? Not if they can make you and me pay for it!


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This piece from Reuters on a breakthrough in desalination technology is good news on its own, but it’s GREAT news for Orange County — because it shows us, just in the nick of time, why investing massive amounts of money in the obsolete technology of  Poseidon’s desalination scam in Huntington Beach would be a sucker’s bet (along the lines of accepting their bid to provide us with all of the 8-track tapes and Betamax and 5-1/4″ floppy disks and 700 kilobyte hard drives that we need.)

Poseidon is not actually in the desalination business, it’s in the “getting governments to buy unnecessary and obsolete technology and unreasonable prices so that their investors have a guaranteed income stream for decades” business.  Why buy that sort of thing?

Pentagon weapons-maker finds method for cheap, clean water

A defense contractor better known for building jet fighters and lethal missiles says it has found a way to slash the amount of energy needed to remove salt from seawater, potentially making it vastly cheaper to produce clean water at a time when scarcity has become a global security issue.

The process, officials and engineers at Lockheed Martin Corp say, would enable filter manufacturers to produce thin carbon membranes with regular holes about a nanometer in size that are large enough to allow water to pass through but small enough to block the molecules of salt in seawater. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.

Because the sheets of pure carbon known as graphene are so thin – just one atom in thickness – it takes much less energy to push the seawater through the filter with the force required to separate the salt from the water, they said.

The development could spare underdeveloped countries from having to build exotic, expensive pumping stations needed in plants that use a desalination process called reverse osmosis.

“It’s 500 times thinner than the best filter on the market today and a thousand times stronger,” said John Stetson, the engineer who has been working on the idea. “The energy that’s required and the pressure that’s required to filter salt is approximately 100 times less.”

Go read the whole thing.  I’m not usually a big fan of Lockheed, but when they come through like this, I happily stand and applaud them.

Wonder why Poseidon is in a hurry to get OC to approve their boondoggle?  Maybe it’s because they were afraid that voters — and city council members — would read something like this before the deed was done.  Yes, as they note, this is great for underdeveloped countries — but also for Orange County, given that Poseidon seems to be intent on treating us like one!

graphene sheet

A 3-D depiction of a one-molecule thick graphene sheet. (Not actual size.) Readers who have been ingesting hallucinogenic substances may not want to stare at this one too long.  And, for God’s sake, don’t scroll it rapidly up and down!

IMAGE USED WITH PERMISSION FROM, AND THANKS TO: http://www.jameshedberg.com/scienceGraphics.php?id=graphene-3D-wavey


About Greg Diamond

Worker's rights attorney now moving into "good governance" litigation. North Vice Chair of Democratic Party of Orange County and occasional candidate. Proud to be prolix. Unless otherwise specifically stated, his writings never speak for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. He tries to either suppress or openly acknowledge his partisan, issue, ideological, and "good government" biases in most of his writing here. If you have a question about any particular writing, just ask him about it and (unless you are an pseudonymous troll) he will probably answer you at painful length. He lives in Brea but generally doesn't blog about it. A family member works as a campaign treasurer for Wendy Gabriella in AD-73; he doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. He does advise some campaigns informally and without compensation, although in 2014 he may receive some compensation for campaign consulting and fundraising for the campaign of Jorge Lopez for Orange County Assessor.