Electrostatic precipitators

Here is where we focus on separating the facts from the fiction, identifying what we KNOW from what what we DON'T KNOW about the life and work of Townsend Brown

Electrostatic precipitators

Postby natecull » Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:26 am

Continuing from my little research jaunt here:
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=250&st=0&sk=t&sd=a#p17103

Electronatom, later Seversky Electronatom during the 'Ionocraft' years, seems to have been into the electrostatic air cleaner game since 1952 and of course it's right in Townsend's neck of the woods. I chased the company and product names via patent records and other open-source Google-accessible docs. But possibly I've jumped the gun in thinking that the Electronatom device was his original idea or that there's a strict line continuity between these inventions. Unless he was a very bright two-year-old, the technology which shows up later in the Fluid Ionic Systems smelter unit has been around since 1907.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrostatic_precipitator

The first use of corona to remove particles from an aerosol was by Hohlfeld in 1824. However, it was not commercialized until almost a century later. In 1907 Dr. Frederick G. Cottrell applied for a patent on a device for charging particles and then collecting them through electrostatic attraction — the first electrostatic precipitator. He was then a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. Cottrell first applied the device to the collection of sulfuric acid mist emitted from various acid-making and smelting activities.


But! Again, look at the company it (citation required) keeps!

Cottrell used proceeds from his invention to fund scientific research through the creation of a foundation called Research Corporation in 1912 to which he assigned the patents. Research Corporation has provided vital funding to many scientific projects: Goddard's rocketry experiments, Lawrence's cyclotron, production methods for vitamins A and B1, among many others. The organization continues to be active to this day


Research Corporation, huh? Private funding for rockets and nukes? Hmmmmm.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_Corporation
During the 1920s and 1930s, many scientists took out patents on their developments and assigned them to the Research Corporation in order to guarantee that any profits made from their work would be used for further scientific research (one notable example is Ernest O. Lawrence, who assigned his cyclotron patent to the company). The Research Corporation played a major role in the minds of many scientists of the period in formulating ideal policies about the role of intellectual property in science. It was one of the first foundations in the United States.


Townsend was seven when this was set up. He was a bright seven-year-old, but not quite *that* bright. But did their paths ever cross later?

Seems like it would have been hard not to if it was this big. Maybe not so much a bite as a big smelly whale.

http://www.rescorp.org/who.php

A native of Oakland, California, Frederick Gardner Cottrell (1877-1948) early revealed the intense scientific curiosity and drive toward achievement that was to characterize his life and make him one of the outstanding, widely honored figures of his era.

At the age of 16, Frederick Cottrell was admitted to the University of California after four semesters of high school where, one acquaintance recalled, "he read textbooks like novels." Telescoping four years of college into three, he received a bachelor’s degree in 1896 and was awarded a fellowship—only to have to resign it for economic reasons. Combining study with high school teaching, he worked toward the day when he could continue his formal education. He pursued graduate work in Germany, qualifying for an advanced degree from the University of Berlin in 1901, and a Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig in 1902.

Returning to the University of California as a professor of physical chemistry, Dr. Cottrell—again laboring under economic necessity as well as interest—began experimenting with electrostatic precipitation as a means of collecting sulfuric acid mists. The result was the precipitator, a device which could collect fly ash, dust and fumes, acid mists and fogs that belched from turn-of-the century plants, and which became a primary means for controlling industrial air pollution. Cottrell made it work by developing a reliable high-voltage power supply and electrodes that permitted electrical energy to leak across a gas-filled chamber from many small points. In 1906 electric current was applied to a small laboratory device emitting sulfuric acid mist, and the idea became a reality. The first patent, No. 895.729, was issued on August 11, 1908.

Well acquainted with the frustrations of young scientists lacking the resources to carry out their ideas, Dr. Cottrell, at the age of 34, resolved that science would be the principal beneficiary of his invention. Those associated with him in developing electrostatic precipitation agreed with this highly unusual suggestion, and in 1912 Research Corporation, a unique institution devoted to philanthropy in science, was born.

Holding a high ideal of public service, Dr. Cottrell guided the U.S. Bureau of Mines in several capacities, including that of director, and played a vital role in making possible helium production during World War I. Following his decade with the Bureau which ended in 1921, he was called upon to fill posts with the National Research Council, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fixed Nitrogen Laboratory.

As a science consultant, Dr. Cottrell was highly regarded in national and international circles, in industry and the academic community. He traveled widely, was acquainted with scientists in the U.S. and abroad, and was especially well known for his ability to spark new ideas. His awards ranged from the Le Conte fellowship and an honorary degree from the University of California to the highest awards of a variety of professional societies. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1939.

Those who honored him spoke not only of his contributions to scientific knowledge, but of his dedicated efforts to enlist science in the service of society. "There is," Frederick Cottrell once told an audience of engineers, "the crying need and splendid opportunity for the young engineer of creative imagination and moral courage to join forces with his brother specialists from the humanitarian side and thus insure a really comprehensive picture of what Homo sapiens should be driving at as the immediate and conscious goal for the species."

Frederick Gardner Cottrell was proclaimed a "samaritan of science" by his biographer, Frank Cameron. "Dr. Cottrell benefited mankind in more than one way," explains former John P. Schaefer, Research Corporation president. "In addition to inventing an important device to control air pollution, he dedicated it to science by creating an organization to develop inventions and help fund academic research." By capitalizing on Cottrell’s patents and those contributed by other scientists, Research Corporation has been able to make grants of over $150 million to support projects independently proposed by academic scientists.


It's a big smelly fish, but here's a faint hint of a link between electrostatics and mining... much earlier than Brown, of course, and fifty years before Lear gets to Reno.
Last edited by natecull on Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Electrostatic precipitators

Postby natecull » Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:57 am

And of course we've all gone over this just back in March. Thanks Langley for finding this one about Electronatom:
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=497&start=390&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=precipitator

His Seversky Electroatom [sic] Corp of 1952 directed its efforts to defending the USA against nuclear attack, and to extraction of radioactive particles from the air. Research in that area led to the discovery of the Ionacraft, an aircraft that derived lift and propulsion from ionic emissions.


Missed that because it was misspelled. A tidbit I've never seen anywhere else in any mentions of Electronatom.

And of course Chris Knight talking about how Brown's fan was different to Cottrell's.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=318&p=2106&hilit=precipitator#p2106

Don't mind me, I'm still catching up.

Edit: And Langley seems to have been on a similar track here:
viewtopic.php?p=12463#p12463

Many American scientists of Lawrence's generation matured with the help of a new system of postdoctoral fellowships, which encouraged research rather than teaching. The National Research Council, established during World War I by the National Academy of Sciences, started granting such fellowships in 1919 with funds from the Rockefeller Foundation.


But didn't mention Research Corp or Cotterell's precipitator funding being intrumental in getting that whole system rolling.

Yeah I don't know if it's important or not. Just things that go 'ping'.
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Re: Electrostatic precipitators

Postby natecull » Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:44 am

Another ping. Trickfox's repost from 2007.

viewtopic.php?p=6925#p6925

The Tesla Beograd WWII Nazi Bell Connection
Posted on Saturday, May 26, 2007 @ 18:16:21 PDT by vlad

From Jack Sarfatti, PhD physics: I am keeping almost everything anonymous to emphasize the physics and not the people.


... began opining some "vortexian" process that occurred within the column, tapping the ZPE in a manner suggested in the work of Viktor Schauberger of Germany back in the 1920's, 30's and 40's. That the ions had to "precess" in some particular way. I did not completely disagree with his idea, only in the manner in which it was carried out. ... has described some of his work with Kenneth Shoulders that involved something I think were called "electron clusters" or something like that. He said they had experimented with high voltage discharges with cone or annular-shaped electrodes, wetted with water I think it was. I seem to recall his mentioning that when fired, these bundles of electrons would vaporize the material of any surface they impacted upon. But that was many years ago.

[Jack] Yes, but so what?

My idea was to combine both; a cone-shaped electrode and an annular-shaped one. I patterned my design, (or at least the one I supposed was utilized in the ARV) after what I had read in Nick Cook's volumn on "The Hunt for Zero Point", around page 192 (hardback edition). He described a secret project conducted by the Nazis near the end of World War II, called "The Bell". It used a solution of Mercury, Beryllium Peroxide and Thorium that was contained in two cylinders that spun in opposite directions. This was very similar to the description of a UFO propulsion system described to me by an individual back in 1989. In that instance, a Mercury-like metallic fluid was seen circulating upward inside a two to three foot diameter glass tube that ran from floor to ceiling in the propulsion system room. It rotated in one direction, while at its base, was a metallic disc rotated in the opposite direction. Around the edge of the pit in the floor that this device was standing in, one could look across at the material beneath the floor on the opposite side of this circular pit and see large copper-colored loops of wire embedded in a clear solid material. This sounded remarkably like what ...had described seeing at Skunkworks, and told to me by someone who knew nothing about
...

One witness claiming to be familiar with the process in the ... told me that the Beryllium Peroxide was used as a kind of "wetting agent" to keep the Mercury solution in contact with the electrodes in spite of the high-voltage discharges. ... suggested that the Thorium was used to reduce the "threshhold of emission" as the solution became ionized. I also thought it peculiar that the anode-cathode arrangement looked remarkably like the early X-ray machines and wondered if they played a role in the operation of the circuit.


The Electronatom -> Hydro-Precipitol -> Fluid-Ionic Systems precipitator is a WET ELECTROSTATIC PRECIPITATOR with ANNULAR ELECTRODES.

A bite?

Who is Kenneth Shoulders?

Also, I'm rather impressed with Jack Sarfatti's restraint here. He's being a good physicist and questioning everything, demanding hard models and numbers to reconcile with mainstream physics. And here I thought he was a bit flakey.

Can you get thorium from a uranium mine? It would certainly fall under the class of Very Restricted Substances.
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Re: Electrostatic precipitators

Postby Mark Culpepper » Tue Aug 05, 2008 5:47 am

You guys are making it impossible for me to sleep.

Nate...... doesn't this sound like an organization that we have come to call " The Caroline Group". Paul says you can judge character by actions and then you quote this"

His Seversky Electroatom [sic] Corp of 1952 directed its efforts to defending the USA against nuclear attack, and to extraction of radioactive particles from the air. Research in that area led to the discovery of the Ionacraft, an aircraft that derived lift and propulsion from ionic emissions.

Haven't we already talked about " green fireballs" that were supposed to be somehow taking the radioactivity out of the air? Now I know that I did not dream that but it seems a way out thought. Haven't we already talked about someone saying that in that time frame? Looking it up and will get back to you all.

But " directed its efforts to defending the USA against nuclear attack and to extraction of radioactive particles from the air" and oh yes ... while you are at it ... design something that flies because of an ion drive system. That sounds like the Caroline Group to me.

And Paul, I am probably putting this in the wrong place. But I wanted to question you about the wisdom of absolutely leaving those nine years out of the biography....by just calling it " more of the same".

I don't think that really works. Mainly because if you have written about so much of a certain activity and then decide not to write about nine more years of the same activities.... (Because its " just more of the same" ).... to me ... it just reads that you are tired and want to wind it up and this is a device that fits your needs. It might be a perfect device and it might work wonderfully but I still would want the truth. I feel that you are tired ,as I said, but I don't think that anyone will buy into thinking that gap was unimportant. In fact....I can see just by casually reading what has recently been posted that there is a story there begging to be told. MarkC
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Re: Electrostatic precipitators

Postby natecull » Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:50 am

I think I agree with Mark. It's your book and obviously your call Paul, and I can see how leaving those years out makes it more dramatic and fiction-y, and a mainstream crossover makes for a bigger market... but I'm not sure the core group of people who will buy this book are primarily looking for fiction and 'a good airport read' but for 'quality data'. There's already a mystery there without necessarily needing to construct one.

Mind you, the size of the book already and the number of connections is probably an issue too, and Linda's high school years do make for a good jumping off point for her storyline.
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