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Power Science

Man Invents Alternative To Cooking Gas 553

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the human-invention-will-find-a-way dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Gazan resident Abed Ar-Rahman has revealed what he is claiming as an alternative to cooking gas that he developed since Israel has prevented deliveries of cooking gas to Gaza. He invented a device using chemical substances available in Gaza, which burn when mixed and brought into contact with oxygen. The first component is a metal filter that controls the interaction between 40% of the oxygen in the surrounding air, the inflammable substance and some other substances."
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Man Invents Alternative To Cooking Gas

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  • by pwizard2 (920421) on Friday December 26, 2008 @08:04PM (#26237643)
    What about Calcium Oxide (CaO), which yields quite a bit of heat when exposed to water?

    All you have to do to get CaO is burn limestone, which people have been doing since antiquity.
  • i smell bull... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iocat (572367) on Friday December 26, 2008 @08:06PM (#26237645) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:

    The first component is a metal filter that controls the interaction between 40% of the oxygen in the surrounding air, the inflammable substance and some other substances. He refused to reveal the exact substances used, fearing that they will not be allowed into the Gaza Strip.
    The second part of his invention is an electronic board that regulates the percentage of air and oxygen entering into the appliance, and the third component is an air pump using electrical power.
    The metal cannister could be refilled with the inflammable substance for no more than 40 NIS, which would make the home cooking device functional for up to 40 days, according to Farajallah.

    This would be neat if true -- a garbage disposal sized obvject providing 40 days of cooking gas for 40 NIS, but just reading alerts every single "perpetual motion" bullshit detector in my head -- the 40% figure, the secret ingredients, etc.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      His circumstances are tougher than usual for the genre; but this guy absolutely screams "quack". Secret ingredients, somewhat dubious technobabble(though that could be a translation artifact), flirtation with thermodynamic implausibility...
      • by carlzum (832868)
        From the article:

        He refused to reveal the exact substances used, fearing that they will not be allowed into the Gaza Strip.

        I'm not sure if he's full of it, or if his process uses substances just as objectionable to border security as cooking gas. Let's face it, Israel will figure out what the secret ingredients are, so I'm not sure what this is going solve. Maybe he's just trying to protect his invention until it's in production.

        • People do keep actual secrets secret as well; but anybody who has a mysterious fuel source of mystery, made by combining one common(but mysterious) substance with another and can't reveal it for fear of The Man, they tend to end up sharing a category in my mind with "the 100mpg water powered car that Exxon is covering up", "the universal herbal cancer cure that Big Pharma has killed for" and similar oh-so-very-plausible schemes.
          • by carlzum (832868)
            Yeah, if he's saying the other ingredients are benign but would be banned in an attempt to keep cooking oil out of Gaza, he probably subscribes to the water fuel and herbs newsletter.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by peacefinder (469349)

      It might be as simple as an acetylene generator and optimized burners, where the transported "fuel" is actually calcium carbide and the cooker would mix it with local water to generate the actual cooking gas. I imagine it would be very difficult to make that work in practice, but some similar clever chemistry could allow an apparently benign (and unblockaded) material to be used for fuel.

      A 40-day supply does sound like a bit much, though.

    • Re:i smell bull... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by westlake (615356) on Friday December 26, 2008 @09:07PM (#26238005)
      This would be neat if true --

      I want to know how much oxygen is being consumed here, what toxins are being pumped out.

      Carbon Monoxide comes first to mind.

      I want to know what makes this unknown chemical mixture safe to use and store in the home.

      I want to know about clearances, surface temperatures. I want to know how easily you can tip this thing over. The risk of accidental burns and fires.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by lysergic.acid (845423)

      what does perpetual motion have to do with it? here in Southern California the monthly gas bill is around $12-30 per month (closer to $30 in the winter when the heater is on) for a 2-bedroom apartment. and according Google 40 NIS is $10.44932 USD. so it's really not all that revolutionary in terms of cost.

      i'm not say that this technology can't be vaporware, but i don't see any "perpetual motion"-type pseudoscience indicated by the article. though, i do think if that he wants to help people he should make th

    • by RealGrouchy (943109) on Friday December 26, 2008 @10:20PM (#26238459)

      This would be neat if true -- a garbage disposal sized obvject providing 40 days of cooking gas

      Another Hanukkah miracle!

      - RG>

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      If the prevelence of 40 as a figure is what turns you off, note that semetic languages commonly use the number 40 as a non-literal figure meaning "many" and somewhere around that order of magnitude. However, translations commonly take this literally. Hence, the prevelence of "40 days" for Noah's ark, "40 years" in the desert, etc.

      At least, this was the explaination I was given for why 40 appears everywhere in the Bible. Given that the person who told me reads it in the original, I tend to trust him when

      • by Zerth (26112) on Friday December 26, 2008 @11:07PM (#26238783) Homepage

        At least, this was the explaination I was given for why 40 appears everywhere in the Bible. Given that the person who told me reads it in the original, I tend to trust him when it comes to linguistic nuances.

        .

        Is it so special to be able to read shakespearean english?

        I mean, the King James isn't as easy as some of those new teenager bibles, but you can muddle through the -iths and thous with some trouble.

        < /troll >

      • Re:i smell bull... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Flavio (12072) on Friday December 26, 2008 @11:36PM (#26238941) Homepage

        If the prevelence of 40 as a figure is what turns you off, note that semetic languages commonly use the number 40 as a non-literal figure meaning "many" and somewhere around that order of magnitude. However, translations commonly take this literally. Hence, the prevelence of "40 days" for Noah's ark, "40 years" in the desert, etc.

        Sufficiently accurate for a religious text, but not at all appropriate for a technical description.

  • by Bryansix (761547) on Friday December 26, 2008 @08:07PM (#26237659) Homepage
    You know what they have a lot of in Gaza which will burn nice and hot? Solid state rocket fuel.
    • by SlashThat (859697)
      Yep... Probably the technology was originally used in Kassam missiles.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by c6gunner (950153)

      You know what they have a lot of in Gaza which will burn nice and hot? Solid state rocket fuel.

      C'mon ... really ... think about this rationally. What's more important? Feeding your people? Or blowing up the flower-gardens of Zionist Pig-Dogs? Let's not get our priorities confused here!

  • by Liquidrage (640463) on Friday December 26, 2008 @08:11PM (#26237675)
    I can't imagine cooking without gas.
    Heating food without gas? I just can't fathom this.
  • by bogaboga (793279) on Friday December 26, 2008 @08:17PM (#26237719)
    While I congratulate him for his invention, he could have used dung from the millions of sheep and camels in the region to make biogas. As a matter of fact these folks are already doing it. [youtube.com]

    I hear waste from humans works too. The trouble with it being the stench and the potential for Hepatitis A spread.
  • I'm very skeptical of this (due to the complete lack of details). That said, here is what jumped out at me from the article (emphasis mine):

    The second part of his invention is an electronic board that regulates the percentage of air and oxygen entering into the appliance, and the third component is an air pump using electrical power.

    Why not just cook with the electricity in the first place? Either the electricity in the area is reliable enough that you could, or it's not stable in which case this device won

    • by compro01 (777531)

      Because a hot plate requires an order of magnitude or two more electrical power than the pump does?

  • WTF ISRAEL? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by exhilaration (587191) on Friday December 26, 2008 @08:37PM (#26237839)
    ...he faced many difficulties in obtaining specific metals such as aluminum that are not allowed into Gaza
    • I guess they're worried that they'll use that aluminum and convert a shanty town into a nuke refinery.

      [/sarcasm]

      • Re:WTF ISRAEL? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by mi (197448) on Friday December 26, 2008 @08:50PM (#26237905) Homepage

        I guess they're worried that they'll use that aluminum and convert a shanty town into a nuke refinery.

        Or a Quassam-rocket. One of those just killed two sisters aged 12 and 5 [yahoo.com].

        • Re:WTF ISRAEL? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by gbulmash (688770) * <semi_famous@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Friday December 26, 2008 @11:28PM (#26238887) Homepage Journal
          Or a Quassam-rocket. One of those just killed two sisters aged 12 and 5.

          And you might notice those girls were Palestinians. It's sort of sad, because when I saw that article, my first thought was "ha ha, you dumbass terrorists screwed up and killed your own." Then right after it I felt guilty because no child's death should be a source of laughter. I'm just so sick and damn tired of these asswipe terrorists. When they kill their own by accident, it's hard not to gloat.
          • Re:WTF ISRAEL? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by mi (197448) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @12:54AM (#26239401) Homepage

            And you might notice those girls were Palestinians.

            That's the point. Had I linked to any Israeli victim of terrorism, some dumbass would've come out from somewhere to debate, that it is all Israel's own fault, that they shouldn't have built the country in "somebody else's desert", or that they should've just died [umb.edu] in the face of opposition, etc. This way, there is no such distraction.

            Or, at least, it is much harder to make — blaming the deaths of Palestinian girls from a Palestinian-fired rocket on Zionist Entity is, of course, possible — had it not been for the occupation [umb.edu], there would've been no need for rockets, so there — but stretches credulity beyond most people's BS-meters. I'm sure, this explanation is being offered inside Gaza and, maybe, West Bank, but it would not work elsewhere. Or so one hopes...

      • by Culture20 (968837)
        Aluminum (powder) + Thoroughly Rusty Shanty Town = Thermite. A little heat, and you'll suddenly get a lot of heat.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by willy_me (212994)

      I believe the aluminum is used for rocket fuel. Once upon a time the British learned first hand that Al burns...

    • by c6gunner (950153)

      Just a guess here, but they're probably worried about rocket production. Rockets made with aluminum tend to have a much higher range than ones made with heavier metals.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by amirulbahr (1216502)
      You don't know the least of it. What the Palestinian cause lacks is a good PR campaign. A peaceful resistance movement with good global PR would do them so much more good than firing random rockets.

      Of course, then they would have to compete with the pro-Zionism lobby groups for mindshare.

  • Unless it's appreciably easier to get aluminum than it is to get cooking gas...

    He added that he spent 3,000 Jordanian dinars developing the device, and stressed that he faced many difficulties in obtaining specific metals such as aluminum that are not allowed into Gaza.

    Oh, wait...

    • by chrb (1083577)

      The point is that using cooking gas requires a constant supply of cooking gas; smuggling in gas once is not enough, you have to constantly smuggle a large supply. Building this device requires smuggling in aluminium once. After that, they can burn whatever common non-blockaded chemicals it uses forever.

  • Sounds plausable... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sooner Boomer (96864) <sooner.boomr@gmaiOPENBSDl.com minus bsd> on Friday December 26, 2008 @08:44PM (#26237871) Journal
    Sounds like it might be a form of the Fischer-Tropsch [wikipedia.org] process, a catalyzed chemical reaction in which synthesis gas (syngas), a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, is converted into liquid hydrocarbons of various forms. You don't have to end up with liquid products. The catalysts are the things that would be the hardest to get in the Gaza area. You need electricity to run the process, but only intermediatly, to build up the product. The Germans made a lot of progress on this during WWII when their access to petro-products was cut off, yet the demand for POL was still high. The feedstock could be almost any organic material that can be volatilized, not necessiarily syngas, but the catalysts needed and the temperatures/pressures are a booger to work out.
  • The day after a Christmas dinner, most guys are producers of lots and lots of bio-gas.

    Or you could take a man or two, put them in a vacuum-sealed vessel, and boil off the hydrocarbons. Sort of like a "reverse gas chamber". If you don't want to be inhuman, use politicians - even PETA won't complain ...

  • unless I am reading this wrong the air in gaza would be great for a nitrox dive to 99 feet for 50 minutes.
    • 40% of the oxygen in the surrounding air

      (100*20%)*40%=8
      So 20% oxygen goes in, 12% oxygen comes out.

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