When you think you've heard it all -
This is one of claims of the patent application for the explosible powder that will potentially fuel vehicles as well as boilers:
the explosible powder comprises a material selected from the group consisting of powdered biomass, powdered hardwood, powdered softwood, powdered grass, powdered metals, powdered plastics, and any combination thereof.
Combine that with the following below the fold:
The language "substantially consuming" is used herein to describe level of consumption of the explosible powders of the invention. A powder of the invention that is substantially consumed produces less than 5% by weight residue, e.g., less than 4% by weight, e.g., less than 3% by weight, e.g., less than 2.5% by weight, e.g., less than 2% by weight, e.g., less than 1.5% by weight, e.g., less than 1.25% by weight, e.g., less than 1% by weight, e.g., less than 0.75% by weight, e.g., less than 0.5% by weight, e.g., less than 0.25% by weight. In certain embodiments, substantially consuming is complete consumption. In certain embodiments, the present invention is directed to reducing the amount of incomplete combustion, or production of the consumption residue noted above.
Don't know about those plastics, but it might be rather challenging to completely combust metal powders. :-)
A demo and informal (very informal) lecture was hosted on a farm on Cayuga Lake, one of the fingerlakes of New York.
Visitors were greeted by a large "blow torch" that long ago outgrew its Campbell soup can part but was still a homemade contraption of available parts that one might to find in an inventor's garage.
A point was made that an asthmatic woman, who would not be able to tolerate a wood fire, was not bothered in the slightest by the giant "blow torch" burning the wood powder fuel. There was no apparent residue nor even the comforting odor of burning wood on a cold and windy day.
Even the most advanced wood-burning power plants not only leave an ash but owners and operators brag on the use of ash as soil amendment and inclusion in cement, thus sequestering some carbon.
I mentioned the engine powering DARPA's purported people eater that frightened the wits out of the seemingly witless imagineers at FoxNews:
The even more omnivorous Cyclone engine will attempt a new steam engine land speed record if all goes well. I mentioned that to a young mechanical engineer attempting to build a two lunger based on powder power.
"Setting a land speed record for powder power will be very easy considering there is none," declared the young enthusiast.
Hard to argue with that.
In these days of pop science promulgated largely by science-challenged wordsmiths, who lack only faith to go spelunking with Sarah Palin in search of dinosaurs, I have no intention of proposing that explosible powder power is anything much beyond an initial concept searching hungrily for funding. It is only at the beginning of a very hard and long and unusually treacherous path to viability.
But if you do not find it intriguing, you are perhaps one of those organic types as frightened by monster GMO's preparing to eat the planet as FoxNews was of the people eater.