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2013
06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

2012
12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

2011
12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

2010
12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

2009
12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

2008
12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

2007
12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

2006
08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs


Vol. 6, No. 3, March 31, 2011
ISSN 1932-3018

Clearing "sewer soap"
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
  Output
Matter
(M)
Energy
(E)
Information
(I)
A
C
T
I
O
N
Process
Transport
Storage
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with the interruption of fluid flow in sewers. More particularly it deals with the action of unintended "sewer soap". In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends, it is concerned with the functionality of matter transportation.
Infrastructure problems have been documented for many reticulation systems and other networks in the infrastructure. These include:
  • Electricity grids
  • Roads and bridges
  • Fresh water supplies
Now a problem has been identified in sewers. It concerns the build-up of hardened sludge in the wastewater-systems of many cities.
The sludge consists of fats, oils and grease (FOG) that are apparently acted upon by calcium. This creates a fatty acid salt, in other words the equivalent of 'soap'. This build-up is responsible for about 20% of sanitary sewer overflows in the nation (Weise, E. 2011, USA Today April 28, p. 6B.) The build-up is "fairly dense and hard" and requires high pressure water or cutting heads to slice through it.
At this stage sewer engineers are not quite sure of the origins of the build-up. Domestic soap uses potassium or sodium mixed with fat, but it is also possible to reach a similar chemical composition with calcium. Calcium is present in human urine but also leaches from aging concrete pipes. At present methods of prevention are aimed at reducing the discharge of fats and oils into the sewer system.
This is an example of a technological need caused by the demands of an aging infrastructure. Technology explorers should be aware of similar needs arising in other infrastructural systems.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.