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

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. A family member co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)