The world of science and technology brings us news that are nothing but pleasant every day. Cold fusion and victory over cancer, new materials of which the world had never heard and new products that will protect us from the harmful anthropogenic influence are brought into the reality. The Editorial Office introduces a new section with the help of this material, that will be maintained by our correspondent Vasyl Hulyi. Material, which is interesting from the point of view of progress, creativity and faith in bright future of mankind, shall be included and analysed.
special correspondent of magazine «FUTURUM» (Ukraine)
The laboratories of the Research Institute for Technological Advancement, located in several countries of the European Union and included in the TORtec Group, which deals with high technology in the field of grinding materials, announced the creation of a number of technologies for nanostructuring of metal oxides, intermetallic compounds and mixtures based on them. The materials obtained by grinding and activation at the “Tornado” installations, specifically developed for such purpose at the Institute, showed new physical and chemical properties. New materials were found and produced as well.
During the entire 2015, industrial tests of a prototype installation “Tornado” were carried out at the experimental site in Prague, a kind of an air-jet mill, which has no rubbing parts. Grinding of any material occurs at the processing chamber, where as if compressed in a confined space, several tornadoes oppositely directed to each other are formed from a stream of air under pressure. The input material, entering into such processing chamber, by the way, very small in size, is broken into particles with great speed. On the way out, the particles are already activated, with given size of particles in cyclones, which also serve as catchers and micro classifiers. Moreover, the installation does not only grinds, but through adjustment of the resonance produces the required dimensions of the grinding, or optionally grinds multi-materials (blends, composites, rocks), making it possible to separate materials by size, density, weight or to enrich the ore, providing the necessary composition.
How does the industry benefit?
Firstly, for the first time it is possible to grind in a stream over-hard, hard and abrasive (ceramic) materials at the micron and submicron level with very low production costs. Since there are no mechanical parts in the “mill”, there is no friction that would cause equipment degradation, thus there is no need to replace the elements of the installation, which in many cases is very costly. This seems very convincing, polycrystalline diamond, for instance, when millimetre chips are poured in the inlet spout of bulk weighing three kg, and then, on the output, in fractions of a second, micropowders in 1, 3 and 5 microns (three cyclones) are produced. Let me remind you that the diamond on Mohs scale of mineral hardness has a hardness of 10, the hardest of minerals.
As a result, a development company in the Czech Republic, Hi-Tech Inovace s.r.o. (http://hti.co.com) has introduced to the market a range of micropowders obtained in a new way – metal carbides: titanium carbide, tungsten carbide, boron carbide, tantalum carbide and etc. Before, if I remember correctly, the science and technology of powder metallurgy were struggling to come up with an effective industrial method of grinding super-hard materials to obtain at least 100 kg per hour of production at the facility. Mini-installation “Tornado” in Prague produces 300 kg per hour, which is easily scalable in size by the processing chamber and cubic capacity supplied pressurized air at 6 bar. It is easy to imagine the value of such technology in a global scale for powder, laser and plasma metallurgy. For example, a micron for additive technologies, or as they are called of AM-technologies, based on titanium used in industrial 3D printers cost at the world market about 700-800 euros per kg, that is due to very complex, expensive plasma and atomic methods of their preparation.
Secondly, metals that may not be fused in metallurgy, intermetallic compounds, have shown unique properties during sintering under vacuum after activation at the “Tornado” installation. They form uncharacteristic connection of crystals in alloys, moreover, during sintering under pressure, outstanding density and homogeneity was shown. This is already very promising in regards to the electrical industry. The obtained micropowder with new properties could be used for metal and metal-polymer electrical contacts in order to increase their durability. The contacts would be less prone to corrosion and other external effects that may be destructive. Contacts are the weakest element in expensive equipment, in circuits, circuit boards, etc.
Thirdly, the laboratory of nanotechnology has developed a method of introducing defects in carbon nanostructures at the “Tornado” installation, simultaneously functionalising the data structure by additives, for example, the activated at the “Tornado” lithium or iron, or titanium. In places of nanotubes fracturing or fullerenes, there is increased activity, which allows them to contact with atoms of metal or group of atoms in the cluster, the clusters, in its turn, forms the crystal lattice of the material. Thus, materials with new properties or entirely new materials, including metamaterials are created. What is done in the laboratories at the atomic level is called doping atoms of carbon nanostructures under a microscope, and it is now embodied in industrial method. Moreover, it is now operated via stream and any material may be used: from metals to ceramics and polymers. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this technology for science of materials and the horizons that may be opened with such application.
Fourthly, with the introduction of “Tornado” technology there is now an opportunity to “gently” open the sheath cells of plants and algae, activating intracellular biocatalysis, retaining their composition and properties. Thus, in the laboratories of microbiology, flavonoids from plants, vitamins, acids, proteins and oils were produced, which are of main priority for humans and animals. All this was achieved without the use of heat treatment, pyrolysis and hydrolysis, without extruders and other intricacies of modern technology. The essence of the process is that the original product may be a single-celled chlorella, for instance, but the finished product is an activated biomass of all components of Chlorella with a broken cell membrane, which previously did not allow the human body to absorb it fully in the digestive system. Now the assimilation is almost complete.
Without going into all the details of biotechnology, it is possible to look at the overall estimated benefit of chlorella, which became so popular in the world in the last decade as a food additive.
Chlorella’s composition is unique. Chlorella actively synthesizes proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins. Therefore, the dry biomass of Chlorella contains over 50% protein, 30% carbs, 10% fat (80% polyunsaturated and 10% minerals. Algae protein is represented in more than 40 amino acids, including, of course, all indispensable for a person. For comparison, beef or chicken contains about 26% protein.
Chlorella amuses by the content of other useful components. 1 gram of dry matter algae contains:
- 1000-1600 mg of provitamin A – carotene (10 times more than in the wild rose or dried apricots)
- pure Vitamin A – up to 1000 µg,
- vitamin B1 – 18 µg,
- Vitamin B2 – 28 µg,
- Vitamin B6 – 9 µg,
- Vitamin C – 1300-1500 µg,
- Vitamin K – 6 µg,
- Vitamin PP – 110-180 µg,
- Vitamin E – 350 µg,
- Pantothenic acid – 12-17 µg,
- Folic acid – 485 µg,
- Biotin – 0.1 µg,
- Leucovorin – 22 µg,
- Vitamin D – 1000 µg,
- Vitamin B12 – 0,0025-0,1 µg.
In the long list of microelements composed in Chlorella, probably the entire periodic table can be found: calcium, phosphorus, iodine, magnesium, potassium, copper, iron, sulphur, zinc, cobalt, manganese, zirconium, rubidium, and others. A product activated in “Tornado” can now be safely and without exaggeration called “biologically active food.”
The developed biotechnology in the laboratories of the Research Institute has already enabled the extraction of quercetin and rutin from buckwheat, taxifolin from Siberian larch, laetril (vitamin B17, credited with high anti-cancer property)from almonds and apricot pits, efficiently with low costs, and so with almost every herb, fruit, berries and vegetables. How did a small team within a Private Research Institute achieve such high results in the development of scientific and technical embodiment, as well as in practical application in such broad spectrum? Director of the development company in the Czech Republic, Mr. Vladislav Reger replied:
“There are no secrets here. A small team of enthusiasts in conjunction represent a united scientist-technologist-engineer by profile, outsourcing laboratory’s work and its results, both marketing and operationalisation. I am responsible for the last two. There are no extra costs, no unnecessary gestures. In one year, 30 new products were born. The same year we found a method and a way of grinding titanium into micropowder. At the same time, we have given copper magnetic properties by composing atoms of fullerenes into the metal structure through nanostructuring doped copper. Meanwhile, we developed a new method for producing carbon from lignin, which is accumulated in millions of tons at the paper and pulp combines, and from that carbon, we produced a range of micropowders and derivatives. Since we began experimenting with lignin, we decided to try creating new bio-polymers, including the lignin-containing agricultural waste (straws, corn stalks and so on.). Well, since we began dealing with polymers, why not to try and produce paper out of plastic bottles all the way around? And so, we did it.
We consider biotechnology in the same perspective. Since we grind any biomass in different modes, we expose a plant cell, the biologically active substance is primarily useful in dietary supplements, in active food supplements, nutrition of athletes and military, people of extreme profession. We have developed a number of systems that remove radionuclides and ions of heavy metals from the human body, which bind and remove free radicals, this leads to premature aging and decreased immune system. Different people visit us, scientists, businessmen … Once, they came to us with a request to make cocoa at the “Tornado”, but in raw form.
And so we did. It so happened that a valuable product was produced at one of the stages – cocoa butter one side (the cyclone) and cocoa solids on the other. We then dried the cocoa solids and grinded it into cocoa powder at 10 and 20 microns. Our technology replaces the 14 stages of the traditional technology that still has large losses due to the nature of processing. Moreover, our micropowder at 8-10 microns forms a fine colloidal solution in liquid, that is hot chocolate, where the substance is in suspension and does not sediment as instant coffee, and the one that is at 20 microns may be produced into a lovely and a quite expensive component for the production of chocolate and confectionery products. We were also asked to be engaged in waste starch production, distillery industry, waste livestock and poultry farms. So was born the technology of processing quill and its breakdown to proteins, which again went into additive in poultry feed. Just after the owner of the largest poultry farm asked us to get rid of the accumulated waste so that he no longer has headache because of it.”
I was struck by the speed with which the developers had introduced the technology to the market. (We in Ukraine should learn from such experience).
I would like to stress out that air acts as the power supply of the “Tornado” installation. Pressurised or any inert gas may be used as well.
Currently, the Institute has completed the creation of another “Tornado” version for liquid and biomass, which functions on water. It is a liquid-vortex mill, if you can call it that. It doesn’t really grinds as a mill does , but it breaks everything that falls into the zone of gradientmode (pressure drops) and crosses it between vortices in a closed processing chamber. This is a great power, a natural power, based on implosion, not explosion, as it is commonly assumed when a combustion reaction takes place, where the explosion is sent outwards. All as described by the Austrian scientist and inventor Viktor Schauberger before the Second World War. Our civilization moves in its development, burning, exploding hydrocarbons and atomic charges to obtain energy, which is then spent on products. Same as in mechanical methods of crushing, material grinding. How could materials be shredded with no energy and mechanical devices? Well, it seems that it is now possible, and the method is intelligent, not barbaric. It can be done, if it desired by the people themselves, especially creative people.
The “Tornado” installation for grinding metal carbides in the micro and sub-micron. SRI TP