The Last Stoic


Posted in Uncategorized by munty13 on October 7, 2009

I think that hydrogen is saturated with phlogiston. I’m not saying that hydrogen is phlogiston, but that hydrogen is saturated with it. I think phlogiston is another name for the aether. I suspect the aether is an incompressible fluid made up of carbon-like particles that are much smaller than atoms. I think that hydrogen is saturated by the aether because it works something like an anticyclone, and it attracts the aether down into its centre.

I think oxygen acts as a cyclone. When oxygen is working in tandem with hydrogen, I think that oxygen draws the aether from its surroundings and then sends this energy to hydrogen; hydrogen then sends energy back to oxygen and a cycle is created. Together oxygen and hydrogen form a “water atom”.

Of course this means oxygen and hydrogen are structures generated by the aether. Oxygen and hydrogen are dipolar vortices that make up a torus shaped atom. An atom appears here as a loop of energy shaped like a ring-donut, or smoke ring. In fluid dynamics it is known as a vortex ring.

The water atom is surrounded by the fluid of the aether. I imagine the fluid of the aether passing through the water atom in the same way that the fluid of the air moves through a smoke ring. The outer surface of a smoke ring is dragged backwards, while a central stream moves forwards.

If the surrounding aether is too rich in phlogiston, then it’s possible that a water atom is able to absorb the phogiston, and thus become bloated by it; a bit like over-inflating a rubber inner-tube. This might be due to the cyclonic part of the atom drawing in too much phlogiston from the outside. This could then choke the passage of the aether fluid through the central stream. The motion of the aether passing through the centre of the vortex ring would ultimately slow down. In turn, this would slow down the motion of the spinning dipolar vortices, and thus reduce the speed of the energy revolving around inside the ring. You would then have a big fat bloated water atom that is full of phlogiston.

If we wanted to store energy, we would want to first fatten-up the anticyclones (hydrogen) and then store them away from the cyclones (oxygen) until such a time that we wanted to release that energy.

Now hydrogen bloated with carbon sounds a lot like a hydrocarbon. A hydrocarbon is an organic compound consisting entirely of hydrogen and carbon. Hydrocarbons can be gases (e.g. methane and propane), liquids (e.g. hexane and benzene), waxes or low melting solids (e.g. paraffin wax and naphthalene) or polymers (e.g. polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene).

Methane used as energy comes mainly in the form of natural gas. Methane is produced mainly by bacteria that break down organic matter where there is little or no oxygen. Methane, CH4, is a chemical compound composed of one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms. It is one of the most common gases in the Universe, as well as on Earth. Methane appears to me to be the exact same stuff I’ve been talking about – a water atom broken down into its two componments – hydrogen and oxygen, leaving hydrogen chock-full of carbon.

Methane is a gas, making it a little awkward to use anywhere except in the household, but by adding oxygen it becomes a liquid fuel. Methanol is produced commercially by the catalyzed reaction of hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Thus, it appears that the water atom has been recombined, but has managed to retain its stored phlogiston. Does methanol look something like a fat donut full of phlogiston?

The following extract is taken from an interview of George Olah, winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize in chemistry, in the Technology Review magazine. They’re talking about the possibility of a methanol economy as opposed to petroleum, or even hydrogen. You can find the full interview here, thanks to:,296,p1.html?a=f

George Olah: Methanol is a very simple chemical that can be made in a very efficient way. It is just one oxygen atom inserted into methane, the basal component of natural gas; but methanol is a liquid material which is easily stored, transported, and used.

We were co-inventors of the direct methanol fuel cell. This fuel cell uses methanol and produces CO2 and water. It occurred to us that maybe you could reverse the process. And, indeed, you can take carbon dioxide and water, and if you have electric power, you can chemically reduce it into methanol.

This fascinates me; that you can make methane from carbon dioxide and water, and then by adding a little more water you get methanol. When you then burn methanol in air it forms little more than carbon dioxide and water. Under combustion, methanol produces neither soot particles nor sulphur oxides, but incomplete combustion does produce formaldehyde (CH2O).

In this case, I think of formaldehyde as the result of methanol losing some of its carbon in the combustion process. The fat donut has lost some of its phlogiston, and has thus been reduced in size. The phlogiston circling inside the vortex ring of the water atom is now moving faster and faster.

Formaldehyde is released in the smoke from burning wood, coal, charcoal, cigarettes, natural gas and kerosene. Formaldehyde is also generated in the clean lower troposphere after naturally occuring hydrocarbons react with photochemically generated HO radicals. Formaldehyde is not only a sensitiser but also a potent primary irritant. Exposure to formaldehyde gas may cause burning sensations in the eye, nose and throat, skin rashes, tightness of the chest and wheezing, fatigue and headaches.

I seem to remember formaldehyde best as an embalming fluid. All those specimens found in glass jars in laboratories are preserved in formaldehyde. I think of formaldehyde as more of a preservative. It is also an effective disinfectant against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Hmmm?

Many thanks:

And thankyou for the donut!


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