Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Water transportation

Deliver water and electricity anywhere on the planet cheaply
  (+11, -2)(+11, -2)
(+11, -2)
  [vote for,

In Iceland they are building a vast hydroelectric system.

See link

They are going to use the electricity to smelt aluminium. I propose a different plan, that they use the electricity to smelt hydrogen from the sea.

The three beautiful attributes of hydrogen are, it can be used to lift things, make electricity and it is one of the two elements that make up water.

Why not combine all three attributes of hydrogen to improve the planet and undo some of the harm, our species appears to be doing.

Put the hydrogen in a vast balloon, attach a motor driven propeller and a hydrogen compressor, both driven by the hydrogen in the balloon, navigate it automatically using GPS.

Fly the balloon into the jet stream using the compressor to control the height of the balloon, use the jet stream to transport the balloon encased hydrogen most of the way, to where water is required on the planet.

In one cubic mile of uncompressed hydrogen, there is potentially 744316795 gallons of water, which is enough water to fill over a thousand Olympic swimming pools.

Water is very heavy so would be expensive to transport about, simple just transport the hydrogen 'coz the oxygen is already there!

Once we can get the water to the dry areas of the planet and grow oil palm plantations there, we can stop the absolute scandal of chopping down jungle in Indonesia to plant oil palm plantations and in so doing - destroy the orangutans environment.

Imagine a plentiful supply of water in the middle of Australia or in the Sahara.

More water in dry areas means more plants means less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

If the water is stored at the top of mountains then hydroelectricity could be made when the water is needed at the bottom of the mountains.

The electricity generated when the hydrogen and oxygen are combined in a fuel cell, could be used to create fertilizer and if there were any juice left over, you could always smelt aluminium with it :)

The price of scrap aluminium is very cheap at the moment, the planet has little need of smelted aluminium.

Little Iceland, has very much need of an economic lifeline at the present.

dollyknot, May 04 2009

Icelandic Hydroelectric scheme http://en.wikipedia...i/Kárahnjúkavirkjun
[dollyknot, May 04 2009]

An excellent and floaty blimp http://ecotality.co...7/11/hindenburg.gif
[normzone, May 04 2009]

Hydrogen from Aluminum http://www.physorg.com/news98556080.html
[goldbb, May 04 2009]

Smelt http://www.google.c...safe=images&as_st=y
[normzone, May 04 2009]


       Very nice. Although if you detonated the blimp containing a cubic mile of hydrogen above the idea where you wanted rain, it would rain.   

       I have never seen the water aspect of hydrogen power included in a discussion, nor the fact that hydrogen makes an excellent and floaty blimp.
bungston, May 04 2009

       Haven't you read about the recent discovery that it's possible to create hydrogen by mixing water with an aluminum/gallium alloy? It's being touted as a way to use aluminum as a fuel -- the hydrogen produced can be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines.   

       If that idea takes off, it will become very important to have an aluminum smelter, to turn the alumina waste product back into metallic aluminum to reuse as fuel.   

       (Not that this helps to transport water, of course, but it shows why aluminum smelting might be more valuable than hydrogen production.)
goldbb, May 04 2009

       //enough water to fill over a thousand Olympic swimming pools.// I like the sentiment, but do you realize how few Olympic swimming pools there are in the world's arid areas? I've been there, and I was shocked at the dearth of such pools. Constructing them, alone, is going to offset most of the ecological advantage of this idea.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 04 2009

       [+] surreal and beautiful   

       Have you considered how one would construct /a vast balloon/ economically?
sninctown, May 04 2009

       You would have to transport the oxygen in a large bag underneath the hydrogen otherwise you rob the target area of half a cubic mile of oxygen...
loonquawl, May 07 2009

       Google James Lovelock and the Gaia hypothesis. Basically oxygen stays at 21% of the atmosphere, at the same time everywhere on our planet, no matter how many plants there are or how much stuff gets burnt. Which does not make sense when you think about it. The amount of oxygen on the planet will stay the same, as you split the water into hydrogen and oxygen. More oxygen will be created around Iceland but it will flow to where you reconstitute the water. Ask yourself why the thousands and thousands of people at big sporting events, don't run out of oxygen to breathe. If the concentration of oxygen got above 21% then the situation would become explosive. Ask yourself why things don't get explosive around where lots of things are growing, after all, plants produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis.
dollyknot, May 07 2009

       Smaller balloons tethered together would overcome the 'vast balloon' building challenges. (+)   

       One big balloon would be cheaper. Every small balloon would need a spigot.
dollyknot, May 07 2009

       The Soviets have long flirted with the idea of using big unmanned balloons to transport natural gas around the world. Just dump the balloon in the jet-stream, let it circulate and once you find a customer, bring it down. See link.
django, May 08 2009

       Where is the link django?
dollyknot, May 08 2009

       [dollyknot]: Lovelock and his Gaia hypothesis are not needed for diffusion, homeostasis and feedback mechanisms. My anno was not all-that-serious, i wanted to have the Hindenburg with a little more oomph.
loonquawl, May 08 2009

       //Ask yourself why the thousands and thousands of people at big sporting events, don't run out of oxygen to breathe//
Don't be ridiculous, of course they do - all the oxygen is depleted from the lowest level of the stadium, which is why all the competitors are panting.
coprocephalous, May 08 2009

       The collective drawing-in and holding of breath serves to lower the atmospheric pressure thus enabling longer&faster shots.
loonquawl, May 08 2009

       Rather good, this one, although I seem to recall it popping (sorry) up elsewhere - perhaps as an anno rather than a post?
BunsenHoneydew, Oct 25 2010

       A fourth attribute of hydrogen is that no one ever smelt it.
pashute, Jan 05 2011

       //the planet has little need of smelted aluminium//   

       Which is definitely why there is a highly competitive worldwide market for the stuff.
Custardguts, Jan 05 2011


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