On the heels of my blog about “The Business of Breathing,” it’s time to talk about gas. I recently finished reading the Sam Kean book “Caesar’s Last Breath.” For those of you who have not read Kean, his specialty is writing science books in an exciting and entertaining fashion. His three other books focus on the elements in the periodic table, genetics, and the brain. Meanwhile, Caesar’s Last Breath looks at gases and both how the atmosphere has shaped human beings and how human beings have shaped the atmosphere.
The word “gas” actually comes from the Greek word “Khaos” for chaos or empty space between the Greek gods and the earth. To the Greeks, gases were the least understood component and the most “wildest” of spirits that no one could tame.
Today we know gases can become liquids, solids or stay as gases. The book is a survey of the history of the earth explored through the air that we breathe and the scientists that made major discoveries of gaseous properties.
Believe it or not, there are good guys and bad guys and conflicts in the book. Kean covers the earth’s early days, atomic tests at Bikini Atoll, details of UFO sightings in Roswell, New Mexico, and the truth behind the US Air Force tests. There is a whole chapter on nitrous oxide (laughing gas) as well as the Manhattan Project and the development of ammonia gas and fertilizers. Of course, there is a discussion of ice seeding for rain, which I am am keenly interested in as well (remember my blog on the Cat’s Cradle and the Vonnegut family?). Finally, Caesar’s Last Breath concludes with alien life, new planets, greenhouse gases and other crazy ideas for other civilizations. All of these chapters are a lot of fun to read.
Relating my Reading to Filtration Tech
Yet, while all of this is very interesting, especially Kean’s scientific data, the question remains for my blog readers: how does BHS handle liquefied gasses? Knowing that gases, under pressure, act as a liquid The BHS Rotary Pressure Filter can conduct filtration, washing, and drying of slurries continuously under pressure to keep the gas as a liquid. We also have installed units for Dimethyl Ether (DME) with specialty containment; contact me for further information or discuss your critical filtration applications.
In the meantime, what have you been reading lately that you might suggest I pick up? I’m always on the lookout for new must-reads with a scientific bent.