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Thread: cnredd Saving the Earth?

  1. #1 cnredd Saving the Earth? 
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    Hi guys!

    I have had this science thought in the back of my mind for awhile, and finally got around to writing about it...

    I put it up on my Political Wrinkles site (No link because I don't want to be a spammer), but obviously, a science forum would give me some more detail on the logic and physics of what I have in mind...

    I'm thinking WAAAAY outside of the box here...

    We use incinerators to get rid of a lot of trash...

    But we have natural "incinerators" in the form of volcanoes all over the world...

    Is it possible (or even feasible) to have dump trucks dropping off trash (after separating certain items) and using a conveyor belt up a mountain to dump it right into the lava?..

    I would imagine that most trash would be melted away to a point of 99.99% disintegration, and the heat would burn away any pollutants left like cooking meat does to bacteria...

    If it did, the next step would be to find a few points on the globe where the crust is the smallest, so getting to the mantle would be the easiest (Yes...I know it's never been done!)...

    I would suggest a worldwide coalition (Like the international space station...I'd rather have private industry do this, but I don't think any could afford it) to dig pits a few miles wide down to the mantle, and then have dump trucks load the trash onto conveyor belts a couple of miles away (I don't think they could be closer) that lead to the mantle pit (with overhead cameras to monitor)...and then dump away!!!...

    I'm guessing that would cost trillions, but I'm also thinking this...

    The mantle is hundreds and hundreds of miles deep...If we threw trash into it, it would dissolve to a point of it never existing, and the issue of trash that we simply place underground (but still in the crust) would go away...

    And, of course, countries that are lucky enough to have these thinner crusts would be virtual mints getting rich by owning the land other countries would use to get rid of their refuse...

    This sounds incredibly cold, but this would also make cemeteries obsolete for those who have no issues with cremation and aren't caring about the location of their ashes...

    Sounds plausible, but I have no idea if it would work...


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  3. #2  
    Genius Duck Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
    Sounds plausible, but I have no idea if it would work...
    In other words it's a top-of-your head idea and you haven't bothered to look at any details.
    Well done.


    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  4. #3  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
    We use incinerators to get rid of a lot of trash...
    Some of those are used to generate power. An advantage we would lose in your case. Other suitable waste is composted, we would lose that as well.

    Is it possible (or even feasible) to have dump trucks dropping off trash (after separating certain items) and using a conveyor belt up a mountain to dump it right into the lava?
    What about all the fuel (and emissions) associated with transporting that waste all around the world? There are not that many active volcanoes that could be used. And there is an awful lot of waste. And then there is the risk that the volcano could erupt at any moment...

    I would imagine that most trash would be melted away to a point of 99.99% disintegration, and the heat would burn away any pollutants left like cooking meat does to bacteria...
    I would imagine that most of it would burn, inefficiently, as soon as it got close to the lava. Given the volumes of trash involved, I imagine most of it would just sit piled up, getting warm, burning slowly while it waited to sink into the volcano.

    Overall, I suspect not as practical as many solutions we currently have.
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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  5. #4  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    As a geologist, I would not be happy if my igneous samples contained your trash.

    That point aside, we have incinerators that can reach much higher temps than lava, so there is no point in using volcanoes as dumps.
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by cnredd View Post
    Sounds plausible, but I have no idea if it would work...
    In other words it's a top-of-your head idea and you haven't bothered to look at any details.
    Well done.
    I was always taught if you don't know something, ask...The only stupid questions are the ones not asked...

    Apparently, we have super-geniuses here that like to beat down those who ask questions they don't know and throw it out there for public discussion...

    Sorry I asked question...Continue in your Mensa conversations up there in the ivory tower...
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  7. #6  
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    I gotta agree on this one. Without knowing where to start, really, you'd not have an easy time looking up the relevant information on this topic without doing a lot of study.
    While "a lot of study" should be encouraged... that doesn't necessarily mean "required."
    I think Flick Montana gave you a sound response.
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  8. #7  
    Genius Duck Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=cnredd;410442]
    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    I was always taught if you don't know something, ask...The only stupid questions are the ones not asked...

    Apparently, we have super-geniuses here that like to beat down those who ask questions they don't know and throw it out there for public discussion...

    Sorry I asked question...Continue in your Mensa conversations up there in the ivory tower...
    Ever wondered why stuff tends to get burnt in a closed and controlled incinerator?
    It's to stop any toxic fumes getting into the atmosphere.

    Ever wondered why it goes into an incinerator rather on top of a fire?
    It's to ensure that stuff gets burned properly, rather than letting it sit on a cooling mass (i.e. what you get in a volcano is exposed to the atmosphere and isn't as hot as down in the magma).

    Ever wondered why stuff is put inside an incinerator ?
    So it ALL gets burned together, rather than rely on it sinking into the hot parts. So that, for example, paper doesn't waft away along with any hot air coming off the furnaces.
    How dense is magma? It's molten rock for crying out loud. How dense would junk have to be to sink into the magma? How much everyday junk is denser than magma?
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  9. #8  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    There's only a few places on Earth where Volcanoes are actually active and most of them are no where near a city or town that they would even be useful for even if they could. Your idea is a interesting one but you should try to give more thought and study before seeking an answer next time you get an idea.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
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  10. #9  
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    Dealing with waste is a very serious issue but I suspect that the amount of garbage would far exceed what suitable volcanoes could manage even if crude burning and gradual filling up the caldera with ash is what is intended. Incineration is relatively easy anywhere as mixed waste tends to include plenty of flammable materials but incineration still puts toxic stuff into the atmosphere and as others have pointed out efficiency of combustion is important in breaking down, by sufficiently high temperatures, a lot - but not all - of those toxic substances. Regulation has seen a lot of small incinerators - which were very common in towns and cities in Australia where I live - eliminated because of the air pollution.

    I advocate better reuse and recycling - with product design to help facilitate that - for several reasons, including less of that toxic burden on land, water and air. Our waste stream is becoming increasing important as a source of raw materials - a lot of which are currently being consumed with little regard for their relative rarity or long term availability.

    Reusing waste has come a long way, with mixed waste able to be chipped and separated with much reduced use of human eyes and hands doing the sorting. Unfortunately the term 'recycle' gives an illusion of endless reuse of materials. Using current methods they are not so much recycled as downcycled; most of it can't be reused at the original quality or for it's original purpose and degrades through one or two recycles into garbage.
    cnredd likes this.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler View Post
    There's only a few places on Earth where Volcanoes are actually active and most of them are no where near a city or town that they would even be useful for even if they could. Your idea is a interesting one but you should try to give more thought and study before seeking an answer next time you get an idea.
    There are a few notable exceptions though. Such as mount Nyamuragira only a few miles from and constantly threatening sprawling city of Goma Zairre.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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