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Stratospheric Aerosol Injection by Coulombic Hoist

Stratospheric Aerosol Injection by Coulombic Hoist17-04-2022 21:30
HarveyH55Profile picture★★★★★

To charge negatively, the teflon tube that is standard on a tribo gun will have to be replaced by a tube made with an electron donor, or else corona charging used instead of tribocharging.
I calculate that to rise in the atmospheric electric field, a particle needs a charge to mass ratio ("specific charge") greater than 50 millicoulomb/kilogram, which may be another factor requiring corona charging.

I guess to get started we will need a telescopic laser range finder to find out how high the particles actually go.

What about building some macroscopic device that uses sky power? In principle, it could fly if it could exceed a specific charge of 50 mC/kg, with payload. Maybe build it to double as a single, large corner-cube reflector pointing down, to facilitate ground-based tracking. Such a form would be mechanically stable while ascending because it places the center of charge above the widest point. If tracking is done at radar wavelengths, the device could be made of an open honeycomb lattice to reduce weight and air resistance, because relatively long wavelengths do not provide the resolution necessary to "see" the holes.

The figure of 50 mC/kg was derived by dividing g, the gravitational acceleration at the Earth's surface (about 10 m/s2), by 200 V/m, and multiplying by 1000 to get the units used in studies of powder-coating physics (and the units analysis checks out).

Extrapolating from data in Meng et al., 2008, , 2.3-micron-diameter sulfur particles corona charged at 90 kV should fly. However, a ten-fold smaller sulfur particle will have a ten-fold greater specific charge, giving some margin to allow for discharging on the way up.

The diameter of the sulfur particle injected into the stratosphere is unrelated to the diameter of the eventual sulfuric acid droplets it produces upon oxidation in the stratosphere, because one reaction intermediate, sulfur dioxide, is gaseous (complication: it's also a greenhouse gas).

At this time, my best guess as to how fast the particles would rise is 3 cm/s (because I believe I have seen it), which will take them up to the stratosphere in four to five days.

However, thus far, my calculations have not addressed the fact that the sky electric field weakens with height. At an altitude of 12 km, it is only 5 V/m, versus 100-200 V/m at sea level. The altitude effect will cause the particles to stop ascending and start concentrating at a particular altitude (a possibly useful effect) where gravitational and coulombic forces are in equilibrium, but is it stratospheric? Unfortunately, no. Even reducing particle diameter 10-fold to 0.23 microns (which uses up our margin for discharge) only gives 4.5 km, less than the minimum height of the stratosphere, 8 km. So, we don't get there, unless we stand on a mountain top in Greenland, but we get interestingly close with what is only the first scheme contemplated. My source for the dependence of electric field on height is figure 20-7a in

The weakening of the Earth's gravity with height is no help, because if you go up to 12 km, the difference is only one-half of one percent.

The problem of particles discharging en route is far from trivial, given that the charge relaxation time constant of air is 15 min at sea level and a tenth of a second at the top of the stratosphere. This is the time required for a 2.7-fold reduction in particle charge (assuming that the particle itself is air). An encapsulated charge structure therefore appears essential. The ideal appears to be a charged particle of supercapacitor dielectric, for example, CCTO, coated in teflon, but this takes us far afield from beautifully simple sulfur aerosols. However, could this be the recipe for the coulombic drone suggested above?

Can we relax some constraints here, given the anticipated economies of a coulombic hoist system? Does injection have to be stratospheric, or will high tropospheric do? If so, how high? Do the light-scattering particles have to be sulfuric acid or can they be electrified mineral dust, pollen, or sea salt?

A further complication is that atmospheric aerosols scavenge ions from the air, which increases the resistivity of the air. By Ohm's law, this effect will increase the intensity of the atmospheric electric field. This effect in isolation will assist the coulombic hoist, but will probably also reduce the specific charge on the particles, which will act counter to the coulombic hoist process. I am now wondering what the net effect of ion scavenging would be, and the net effect may differ between dispersed and concentrated particle releases. If necessary, the benefits of the scavenging effect could be made more robust by initially releasing heavily charged natural aerosols such as mineral dusts or sea salt to run interference for a subsequent release of a charged sulfur aerosol. The mutual electrostatic repulsion of the released particles will cause them to quickly spread laterally without limit as they rise, which may be what finally kills the scavenging idea dead.

I didn't look through the entire project on the site, but quoted most of the description. There were a few photos, some more text at the link though.

Not sure where he got his degree in climatology... But, from electronics, electricity always takes the shortest path to ground. His sulfur might start off with a positive charge, but won't last long enough to carry the aerosol mile high in the sky. Recreational marijuana must be a climate change drug. There is a whole lot of other crap floating around in the sky. Not to mention a 'thick' blanket of planet-killing, man-made CO2 hovering just above the surface, quickly incinerating all exposed. No mention of the biogeochemical effect of spraying tons of sulfur in the air. Did mention converting to acid rain though. Isn't there something in the bible about sulfur and brimstone?

Why do people hate our planet so much. Pollution, is still polluting, regardless of the religious motives.
17-04-2022 22:45
IBdaMannProfile picture★★★★★
HarveyH55 wrote:I didn't look through the entire project on the site, but quoted most of the description.

Thank you for posting this. I got a good laugh out of it.

Here are my favorite parts:

1) The very first sentence:

On clear, calm days, release tiny, negatively charged sulfur particles near ground level (but no lower than 25 cm) and wait for them to rise into the stratosphere on the sky voltage.

2) The very next sentence:

They should then oxidize to a sulfuric acid aerosol, which is a powerful climate cooling agent if present in the stratosphere.

3) A ways further down:

It is part of the global atmospheric electric circuit, which is powered by thunderstorms.

4) I was impressed with how extremely well conceptualized this project was, down to the smallest detail:

I guess to get started we will need a telescopic laser range finder to find out how high the particles actually go.

5) Wait ... at the very end of the article, do I sense some doubt concerning the entire premise? Ooops!

2.3-micron-diameter sulfur particles corona charged at 90 kV should fly

6) ... and the advisory near the end of which squeal over tried to warn us:

because one reaction intermediate, sulfur dioxide, is gaseous (complication: it's also a greenhouse gas).

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