Motives Incentives Methods Communities Cool Links
Home Page Home Page Products Contact
            
            
   
  Solar Photovoltaic Energy


Solar cells could power most of your home in the future...

"Almost all your electricity comes from a local power plant, usually of a coal, natural gas or nuclear
variety, but in the future most of this electricity could come from high-efficiency solar cells."...


more.....
http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/10/25/spectrolab_tour_video/



http://www.pvpower.com/

 


 


http://www.solarliving.org/



Can high Purity Solar Grade Polysilicon Be Co-produced as a By-Product of “Diatomic Energy” Algal Biomass Biogasoline and BioDiesel Production? 
 

      Pure “polysilicon is a high value commodity in the Solar PV and                  semiconductor industries.

       http://www.eetimes.com/news/semi/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=175801721

      Electronics Engineering Times

       (01/05/2006 4:51 PM EST)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Prices for polysilicon are expected to see further increases this year and next amid ongoing shortages for the materials, warned an analyst.

“The rapid increase in solar cell production, and rising IC unit volumes, triggered a polysilicon shortage, [are] forcing solar cell manufacturers to pay significantly higher prices to secure silicon supply,” said Jesse Pichel, an analyst with Piper Jaffray Inc., an investment banking firm.

“The contract price of polysilicon has soared 80 percent in the last 18 months to $60/kg, and we anticipate further increases to $80/kg in 2006 and more in 2007,” he said in a new report.

Polysilicon contracts are sold out through 2007; spot prices for these materials recently reached $140/kg, he added.

Leading polysilicon vendors cannot keep up with huge OEM demand and are reportedly sold out of these materials for the next two to three years, according to industry sources. Polysilicon, a material that consists of multiple small crystals, is used to make silicon wafers, solar cells and other products.

After sizzling growth in recent times, the solar energy market is projected to dim and “hit the wall” for panel, equipment and materials vendors in 2006, according to the analyst.

The projected slowdown in the solar market for 2006 is mainly due to ongoing and severe shortages of polysilicon, Pichel said. Growth is projected to resume in 2007, when more polysilicon supply becomes available, he said.

Chip and solar-panel makers won’t admit it, but many are feeling the brunt of the supply problems. For example, SunPower Corp., a solar panel maker backed by Cypress Semiconductor Corp., buys mono-crystalline ingots for 80 percent of its production requirements, and cut wafers for 20 percent, according to the analyst. It has multiple suppliers providing raw polysilicon, contracted wafer production and ingots.

Through 2005, SunPower contracted at $108/kg per ingot based on polysilicon priced at $50-to-$55/kg, according to Piper Jaffray. “We believe that the contract price rose to $115/kg per ingot in December 2005, based on polysilicon priced at $65-to-$75/kg,” according to the report.

“For 2006, we believe SunPower has contracted at $145/kg per ingot and $85/kg for polysilicon,” the report said. “Although SunPower has [about 75 megawatts] of polysilicon under contracts and purchase orders, we believe that 23 megawatts of its 2006 needs are at risk. So, SunPower is likely to tap the spot market for supply.”

For 2007, SunPower currently has about 110 megawatts of polysilicon allocated by vendors, and 75 megawatts under contract and purchase orders. “Polysilicon prices should remain high for the year, with spot pricing expected to exceed 100/kg and ingot pricing more than 150/kg,” according to the report.


 

      As some members may know, I have been actively developing methods to cultivate, certain high oil content diatoms, to make "Diatomic Energy" from algal biomass derived biogasiolines, and BioDiesels. This serendipitous ALT/Energy quest began, when Mother Nature decided to "foam" The Huge James River in Richmond VA  in the summer of 2006. 

SEE:

http://www.fossilfreedom.com/summer.html

and:

www.biodieselnow.com/forums/thread/32909.aspx 

      As a result of that quest, I now have a diatom growing in captivity, that makes oils suitable for biodeisel production, and sugars and starches, suitable for biological fermentation intoethanol, acetone and butanols.

Butanols are one excellent form of non-ethanol biogasoline (among many), which are a direct replacement for petroleum gasoline with almost no pollution or toxicity.

Also, biogasolines, and biodiesels, are net carbon neutral, and do not cause global warming.  Many researchers, have been looking at algae, as a petroleum energy replacement. Despite what you may have learned in school wrongly, no dinosaur ever contributed a single BTU of energy content to any petroleum anywhere!

Dinosaurs, as well as mammals, and humans, are net energy consumers. They do not photosynthesize, and therefore do not trap solar energy and store it.

Plants do that by photosynthesis.

The energy density of  petroleum originally came eons ago, from photosynthesis of plants alone! Most of the petroleum energy ever produced, was created by the decaying corpses of photosynthetic plant algae, sinking to the bottom of the sea, and getting trapped in other sediment to form oil layers, in sedimentary rock basins. Replacing all petroleum, with energy derived from algal-culture, is therefore the most direct route. Algae can grow a new crop in as little as three days!

All we need do, is somehow, speed up the oil producing rate by several orders of magnitude, to create a petroleum replacement in short time spans, of weeks, instead of eons. One of the real beauties of that approach, is that we can just build photobioreactors, and create a precisely controlled "Perfect Ecological Niche" environment, and our algae will go right to work, doing what comes naturally to them. Give then the right niche, and they do all the work! 

Diatoms are just a subset of algae. Not only do they make fuel biomass; they make opal (pure polysilicon) frustules (half-shells) too! When I developed my "Diatomic Energy" breeder feeding program, I had to feed sodium silicate to my diatoms to avoid silicon starvation. Silicon starvation would stress the diatoms and make them begin TAG synthesis (oil production) to save up energy for "Hard Times" To "Breed" new diatoms in my "Diatomic Energy" breeder photobioreactors, I had to encourage sexual reproduction to make nice new  full-sized opal polysilicon frustules for the new "highly silacious" and extremely sexually active juvenile diatoms.

Think of this like the old Star Trek Episode entitled "The Trouble With Tribbles" The trouble with Tribbles was that they "were born pregnant!" That's is just about the case with sexually reproducing diatoms. Asexually reproduced diatoms use the parent's old frustules as a mold-template to produce a new, slightly  smaller copy. So each asexual diatom is smaller than a asexual parent. Asexual diatoms grow very fast, creating blooms, but with diminishing silicon returns.

To make full sized fresh opal polysilicon frustules, sexual reproduction is the only way. (but you already knew that, didn't you?) In order to grow diatoms, I found that I could control the growth process of the diatoms by intentionally regulating the available soluble silicon, as sodium silicate (water glass), as well as trace elements like phosphorous, boron, strontium, molybdenum, selenium and several others.

If  "Cultured Diatomic Energy" biomass production methods were adopted, using diatoms as the photosynthetic organism, (and by substituting easily removed or solar non active trace elements in the diatom diet), it may be possible to develop a "diatomic energy process" that would create and preserve the diatom frustules as an organically, and biologically, grown, ultra pure "opalene solar grade polysilicon!"

Diatoms use phosphorous to grow their phospholipid membranes, and quite probably avoid depositing it in the frustules, (especially if the phosphorous supply were intentionally very limited), As it is needed for photosynthesis.

If boron were excluded from the growth photobioreactors, there would be little or no boron to contaminate the silicon frustules. The two principle difficult to remove contaminants in sand may not be a problem at all in "Cultured Diatomic Energy" solar grade polysilicon cultivation.  

By using the nascent "Diatomic Energy" Biofuels industry, it seems we could possibly  co produce the following value added commodities; 

1)Biogasoline fuels

2)Biodiesel fuels

3)Vegetarian Grade Omega-3 heart healthy oils

4)High quality protein meal to feed to animals or humans

5)Nitrogen and phosphorous fertilizers for recycling in agriculture, or algae-culture

6) Biologically pre-purified Solar grade diatomic opal polysilicon 

It would be a real boost, to both the solar PV industry, and the biofuels industries, if such an important value added synergy could be developed, to reduce costs, and increase profits, in both industries. Low costs and genuine profits, are the drivers, and the capital source, for the much needed, geometric expansion, in both ALT/energy industries.  

Hog farmers brag that they "use everything but the oink" 

Diatoms are silent, but they do "Glint" in the sunlight! 

Perhaps, we, in the nascent biofuels industry, can even find a way, to put that Glint to a very good use!"  

                  ©2006

                  Patrick Ward

                  27 Dec. 2006

 

      With Best regards

      FREE ENERGY      Patrick Ward

      Richmond VA

      fossilfreedomATyahoo.com                fossilfreedom@yahoo.com

      fossilfreedomATyahoogroups.com     fossilfreedom@yahoogroups.com

      biogasolineATyahoo.com                      biogasoline@yahoo.com

      biogasolineATyahoogroups.com           biogasoline@yahoogroups.com

      fossilfreedomATgmail.com                 fossilfreedom@gmail.com

                                                                   http://www.fossilfreedom.com

  
 
 

  FROM: 
http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/gutholmj/applied_geology/diatomite/body.html
 
 

INTRODUCTION

          Quite a few years ago, I used to use diatomaceous earth for filtering water in fish aquariums. It makes an excellent filter medium that is capable of removing the smallest particles. It can even filter out parasites. Although I knew that it was produced from the fossil skeletons of an aquatic organism, I never gave much thought to everything that was necessary to develop, mine, and process this material, As far as I was concerned, it just came from a store shelf. After having an opportunity to see the Celite Corporationís diatomite mine in Quincy, Washington, I became fascinated with all that must have occurred to create the deposits that they were mining and how they processed it to achieve the end product. It is the goal of this paper to answer those questions.  
 
 

LIFE OF DIATOMS

          Although diatoms appear plant like, scientists have determined that these single-celled organisms are neither plant nor animal. Diatoms are classified with the single-celled protozoans, molds, and fungi into a separate group called the Kingdom Protista (Burnett, 1993). Diatoms live in many diverse environments. They can be found in the oceans, lakes, streams, salty inland seas, and brackish estuaries. Diatoms can be found in almost any body of water where there are adequate nutrients. Most diatoms use photosynthesis to produce their energy, so they also need sunlight. There are some diatom species that do not contain chlorophyll. These diatoms must acquire energy by some means other than photosynthesis. Although diatoms can live in environments with a wide range of temperatures, they are more prolific in colder waters. They are very abundant in the polar oceans. Most diatoms live in the open water column at or near the surface (Werner, 1977). When they die they sink to the bottom. The soft tissues decay leaving behind a fossil skeleton.  
          Most diatom fossils are found in Eocene and Miocene sedimentary rocks. The oldest known diatoms that have been definitely identified and dated are from the Lower Cretaceous (Burnett, 1993). Fossil diatoms which are subjected to pressure may recrystallize into metamorphic rock and this may explain why older fossils are not found (Compton, 1991). There is be an active debate in the scientific community, as to when diatoms first appeared. In 1951 G. Dallas Hanna, a pioneer in the study of diatoms, speculated that the history of diatoms must go back farther than the Cretaceous. His assumption was based on the fact that by the time of the Cretaceous, diatoms were already very abundant, highly organized and of many diverse forms (Burnett, 1993). Recent work, using inferred phylogenetic trees from 18S rDNA sequences, indicates that diatoms have their origins somewhere around 238 Ma to 266 Ma.  
          Diatoms consists of a membrane supported and protected by two half-cell walls or valves. The two valves and their connecting band form the diatoms silica skeleton called a frustule. These two valves, the epitheca and the hypotheca are different sizes. The epitheca, being the larger of the two, slightly overlaps the rim if the hypotheca like a lid (Burnett, 1993). The organisms extract silica from the water to build their frustule. Typically, the frustules exhibit complex lattice-work patterns and partitions of great variety and complexity. Since the total thickness of the each valve wall is only a few microns, it results in an integral structure that is highly porous on a microscopic scale (Hanna, 1951). The frustule of most diatom species are between 50 and 150 microns in diameter (Benton, 1983).  
         The frustule, or silica skeleton of a diatom is made up of amorphous silica which has the same chemical composition as opal (Hanna, 1951). The chemical formula for amorphous silica is SiO2ïnH2O. The water content usually ranges from four to nine percent, but it can be as high as twenty percent. Although this form of silica does not form in a crystal lattice the structure is highly ordered. Individual silica spheres arrange themselves in hexagonal or cubic closest packing, water and/or air taking up the space in the voids (Klein and Hurlbut, 1985).  
          Diatoms can reproduce both sexually and asexually. During sexual reproduction diatoms produce non-siliceous gametes which are released into the surrounding water. When two gametes join together they form a complete zygote, enlarge, and build a frustule. During asexual reproduction the two halves of the frustule separate and each half generates a new hypotheca. When the smaller hypotheca from the original individual generates a new hypotheca, it becomes the epitheca, or larger half. This causes the new individuals to get progressively smaller. Although asexual reproduction does cause the line to become progressively smaller, it does allow diatoms to reproduce very rapidly in blooms. This allows them to quickly take advantage of favorable changes in environmental conditions such as an increase in dissolved silica. Sexual reproduction then serves not only the purpose of combining the genetic material from different individuals, it also allows the progeny of asexual reproduction cycles to produce offspring that will grow to full size (Werner, 1977).  
          There is a wide range of estimates on the number of diatom species that have existed. Many estimates place the number as high as 100,000 to 200,000 different species. Of this great number only about 25,000 bona fide species have been actually cataloged and described (Werner, 1977).

  

FORMATION OF DIATOMITE

          Diatomite is the specific name given to fossil diatom deposits that are large enough and pure enough that they are of potential commercial value (Benton, 1983). Although diatoms inhabit many different environments throughout the world they are in most instances, not accumulating in the concentrations that were necessary to form the Miocene and Pliocene age deposits that are being mined throughout the world today (Burnett, 1991).  
          Two primary factors that affect the formation of diatomite deposits are the rate of accumulation of diatoms frustules, and the rate at which other sediments are accumulating in conjunction with them. The amount of available silica in solution is typically a limiting factor in the reproductive rate of diatoms and therefore controls their rate of accumulation. This may explain why most of the known diatomite deposits are Miocene and Pliocene in age. This was a time of increased volcanism throughout the world (Hanna, 1951). Most sources of silica are not very soluble in water, but the silica in volcanic ash dissolves comparatively easily (Burnett, 1993). Considering the extent of volcanism during the Miocene and Pliocene and the large populations of diatoms that must have been living, diatomite is less abundant than might be expected. Diatom fossils are present in many sedimentary rocks of this age, but other sediments accumulated in conjunction with them in such great quantities that the diatom fossils only comprise a small proportion. Two deposits of particular interest are the Celite Corporationís mines in Lompoc, Ca. and Quincy, Wa. The Quincy deposits are of interest because I have been to the mine. The Lompoc deposits are of interest because of their tremendous size and contribution to global production.  
          In the area of Quincy, Washington two separate Miocene diatomite deposits have been mined commercially (Benton, 1983). At various times throughout the Miocene, lava flows of the Wanapum Basalt blocked off streams channels causing lakes to form (Niemi, 1981). These lakes provided an ideal environment for the growth of diatoms. The volcanic eruptions that provided the lava to create the lakes would have also contributed volcanic ash to the drainages that fed the lakes. The volcanic ash provided an abundant source of silica, which is needed for the rapid growth of diatom populations. Iron can also be a limiting factor in the growth of diatoms. The lakes were formed in basalt which is relatively high in iron and weathers easily. Many such lakes probably formed throughout Eastern Washington at this time. Of these lakes, most would have received large enough amounts of terrigenous sediments. The sedimentary rocks that formed in most of these basins may contain fossil diatoms, but not in sufficient concentrations to be considered diatomite (Mackin, 1961). Only the lakes which received minimal amounts of terrigenous sediments formed diatomite deposits. The Squaw Creek Diatomite and the Quincy Diatomite both formed in these types of lakes (Niemi, 1981).  
          The Squaw Creek Diatomite occurs at the base of the Rosa Member of the Wanapum Basalt. The Squaw Creek Diatomite is the older of the the two deposits in the Quincy area. This deposit was formed during a period of volcanic inactivity after the formation of the Frenchman Springs Member. Basalt flows of the Rosa Member capped off the deposit probably while it was still being formed. This is evidenced in the Rosa Peperite where basalt flowed into the diatomaceous sediments which were apparently young and not well consolidated. The Quincy Diatomite occurs at the base of the Priest Rapids Member of the Wanapum Basalt (Carson, et al, 1987). This deposit is currently being mined by the Celite Corporation.  
          The Celite Corporation also operates the larger of the two diatomite mines in Lompoc, California. The Lompoc deposits are the worlds largest source of diatomite being mined today (Burnett, 1991). The diatoms of the Lompoc area occur in the Sisquoc and Monterey Formations which are upper Miocene to Lower Pliocene in age. These deposits were formed during a six or seven million year period that spans the Late Miocene to Early Pliocene (Compton, 1991). Various parts of the Sisquoc Formation are discontinuously exposed at the surface for more than 15 miles in a series of closely-spaced folds. Individual diatomite beds range from only a few centimeters up to 15 meters and the entire deposit is hundreds of meters thick (Burnett, 1991).  
          During the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene the intersection of the East Pacific Rise with the North American Plate created a region of extensional tectonic activity along the coast of Southern to Central California. This tectonic activity created the sub-marine basin in the Pacific ocean, adjacent to the coast. The sediments that make up the Sisquoc Formation and the underlying Monterey Formation were deposited in this basin (Compton, 1991). Throughout the remainder of the Miocene siliceous frustules of diatoms were deposited in the basin with very little accumulation of terrigenous sediments. The large populations of diatoms necessary to form these deposits were enhanced by two additional factors. First, as mentioned earlier the Miocene was a period of increased volcanism. Volcanic activity contributed ash to the water, increasing the dissolved silica. Second, the period from 16 to 12 million years ago represents a major global cooling event (Flower and Kennett, 1993). These cooler temperatures would have been favorable for the growth of large populations of diatoms.  
          During the Early Pliocene, the Santa Ynez Mountains were uplifted adjacent to the basin. This resulted in a quadrupling in the rate of overall sedimentation, most of which was terrigenous on origin. The uplift of the Santa Ynez ended the formation of the relatively pure diatomite deposits by contaminating the basin with large amounts of terrigenous sediment being eroded off the newly formed mountains (Compton, 1991).  
          This dramatic increase in sedimentation greatly increased the overburden pressure being applied to the Monterey Formation. The increased pressure coupled with a high geothermal gradient, probably brought about by thinning of the crust and an upwelling of the asthenosphere in this extensional environment, caused diagenesis of the diatomite in the lower sixty to seventy percent of the Monterey Formation. This process transformed the diatomite to cristobalite. The remainder of the Monterey Formation and the Sisquoc formation were not buried deep enough or heated sufficiently for diagenesis to occur. From the Early Pliocene to the late Pleistocene the Monterey and Sisquoc Formations were tectonically folded, tilted and uplifted. Diatomite was then exposed at the surface by the erosion of overlying sediments (Compton, 1991).  

 
 

 

MINING AND PROCESSING

          There are currently 12 diatomite producing facilities in the United States which are operated by six different companies. Although underground mining of diatomite has occurred in the past (Oakeshott, 1957), all current U.S. mining is done by open pit methods (Lemons, 1996). All of the active diatomite mines is the U.S. are freshwater lake deposits except the marine deposit at Lompoc, California. The mining and processing of diatomite is unusual in that care must be taken not to destroy the structure of the individual diatom frustules. Diatomite can not be subjected to excessive attrition in the process of milling and conveying. Unprocessed diatomite is referred to in the industry as crude. It is typically mined using bulldozers and trucks (Oakeshott, 1957).  
          The crude is transported from the mine to processing plants which are usually located nearby. Crude has a density of between 320 and 640 kg. per cubic meter and a moisture content of thirty to sixty percent. It is first crushed to a size of about one to two centimeters and furnace dried to reduce the moisture content to about fifteen percent. Diatomite is usually made up of a number of different species of diatoms. After initial drying the crude is cleaned and sorted by particle size. This is done in series of cyclone classifiers. The classifiers use hot gasses to sort the different particle sizes and further dry them at the same time.. After being sorted and dried the crude may be bagged and sold as natural diatomite. Although the diatomite has been sorted, each grade still has a considerable size distribution. For this reason most diatomite products are further processed (Benton, 1983).  
Diatomite products that are further processed are called calcined and flux calcined diatomite. Most diatomite products are used in filtering applications. With a large particle size distribution, the smallest of the particles occupy space between larger particles. This reduces the rates of flow through the filter. The purpose of calcining is to reduce the particle size distribution. The use of the term calcined is ingrained in the diatomite industry and markets so it is used frequently, but diatomite is actually sinterized not calcined (Benton, 1983).  
          Sintering reduces the size distribution by melting the smallest particles together. To produce calcined diatomite the natural product is heated to between 900° C. and 1100° C. The high temperatures burn off organic contaminants, and shrink and harden the individual particles. Some of the diatom frustules are sintered into small clusters. The resulting calcined diatomite has a density of about 125 to 150 kg. per cubic meter. Flux calcined diatomite is produced using the same methods except a fluxing agent is added before heating. Soda Ash in concentrations of between three and seven percent is usually used as the fluxing agent. The diatomite is heated to around 1200° C. slightly higher than for straight calcined products. Varying the temperature, amount of flux added and the processing time controls the particle size distribution. Flux calcined diatomite has a wide density range depending on the processing. It varies from about 150 to 300 kg. per cubic meter (Benton, 1983).  

 

THE MINERAL COMMODITY

In 1996 the U.S.G.S. conducted a production survey of all twelve of the U.S. producers. The annual production in the United States for 1995 was 687,000 tones (table 1) (Lemons, 1996). This represents an increase of twelve percent from 1994. Although domestic production did increase in 1995, it has not increased significantly over the last 30 years. An extrapolation from the 1991 Minerals Commodity Report on Diatomite published by the California Department of Conservation projected 1995 production at 768,000 tonnes. This is 81,000 tonnes, or twelve percent higher than the actual 1995 production reports. During the four years since the 1991 report was published world production of diatomite has decreased by 240,000 tonnes (Lemons, 1996). As world production and probably demand have decreased, U.S. production has increased slightly, but it is not increasing at even the modest rates projected only 4 years earlier.   

          Diatomite has been used in hundreds of applications since it was first commercially mined in the 1800ís. In 1995 eighty-four percent of all diatomite produced in the U.S. was used in three principal areas (table 2); as a filter medium, as a filler, and as an insulator. seventy percent of all production was used in filtering applications (Lemons, 1996). These applications vary widely from filtering beverages and food products to swimming pools. As a filler, diatomite is used many applications primarily because it has a low density and is relatively inert. It is used as an filler/extender in paints because of its unique ability to trap pigments helping to distribute the color evenly throughout the mixture. Diatomite is also used as a filler in pharmaceuticals and many other chemical applications (Burnett, 1991). Low-grade diatomite that contains enough clay to act as a bonding agent has been used for manufacturing bricks. This was one of its first commercial applications (Oakeshott, 1957).   

   

        The price of diatomite varies widely depending on the purity and the level of processing necessary to produce the final product. In 1995 the average U.S. price for diatomite used in various applications ranged from $113.77 per tonne to $302.29 per tonne (table 3) (Lemons, 1996). Prices have remained stable for the last few years. Processing of raw crude is the most costly part of diatomite production. It comprises sixty percent of the total direct cost to mine, produce and ship diatomite products. Most of this expense is related to the cost of energy needed for drying and sintering. Thirty percent of the total direct cost goes to packaging and shipping, and amazingly only ten percent for the actual mining (Benton, 1983).   

   

          World reserves of diatomite are estimated at 800 million tonnes (Kesler, 1994). At current rates of consumption this is enough to last for almost 600 years. The Celite Corporationís mine at Lompoc, Ca. covers an area of eleven square kilometers to a depth of 200 meters. This mine alone could probably meet world demand for the next 150 years. One of the threats to reserves and the reserve base is growing urbanization. Land covering otherwise commercially mineable deposits in Ventura, Los Angles and Orange counties has been developed for industrial and residential use. It is unlikely that these deposits will be extracted in the foreseeable future (Burnett, 1991).

   

ENVIRONMENTAL CONSIDERATIONS

In any mining operation care must be taken to preserve and restore the natural environment. Because natural diatomite is composed of mostly amorphous silica it does not present as serious an environmental or health risk as crystalline forms of silica. Unlike crystalline forms of silica, diatomite is not classified as a potentially carcinogenic (Burnett, 1991).  
Reclamation is an important part of commercial mining. Public perception drives public policy. This becomes especially important in areas like Lompoc, Ca. where mining is occurring in close proximity to a large, growing urban center. Diatomite is essentially inert and therefore poses little or no threat to the environment in both active and reclaimed mines. Because of the high absorption capacity of diatomite, it retains moisture which aids in the re-vegetation process where mine pits are being reclaimed. This high absorption capacity may also help in controlling runoff of precipitation. This would significantly reduce erosion, which can be a difficult problem when trying to restore topography. In Los Angeles County a diatomite quarry on the Palos Verdes Peninsula was closed in 1956 after 27 years of operation. After being closed the quarry pit served as a sanitary landfill for 8 years. The county then created the South Coast Botanic Garden over the landfill (Burnett, 1991). Based on my own observations at the Celite Corporationís mine in Quincy, Washington, it appears that the Celite Corporation is doing an excellent job returning the land to its original state.  
Safe working and living environments can be maintained in and around diatomite mines by reducing the amount of material that becomes airborne, and controlling exposure times. In the processing plants, workers are exposed to diatomite products that have been sinterized. In the sintering process some of the amorphous silica recrystallizes to cristobalite. This mineral is considered to be carcinogenic. When Inhaled in sufficient quantities, over prolonged periods, it is known to cause fibrotic lung disease. By maintaining adequate ventilation, keeping work areas clean, and using respirators, health problems of this type can be eliminated. A twenty-one year long study reported on by the Mansville Corporation (Celite Corp.) demonstrated that by taking these precautions, health problems related to fibrotic lung disease can be practically eliminated (Benton, 1983).  

REFERENCES

Burnett, J. L., 1991, Mineral Commodity Report -Diatomite-: California Department of  
Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, Special Publication 111, 26 p.

Burnett, J. L., 1993, Diatoms-The Forage of The Sea: California Geology, v. 44 no. 4, p. 75-81.

Benton, W. E., 1983, Economics of Diatomite: AIME pre-print no. 83-363, 15 p.

Carson, R. J. et al, 1987, Geology of the Vantage area, south-central Washington: An  
Introduction to the Miocene flood basalts, Yakima Fold Belt and the Channeled Scabland: Geological Society of America Centennial Field Guide ? Cordilleran  
Section, p. 357-362.

Compton, J. S., 1991, Porisity reduction and burial history of siliceous rocks from the Monterey and Sisquoc Formations, Point Pedernales Area, California: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v 103, p. 625-636.

Flower, B. P., Kennett, J. P., 1993, Relations Between Monterey Formation Depositition and Middle miocene Global Cooling: Naples beech Section, California, Geology,  
v 21, p. 877-880.

Hanna, G. D., 1951, Diatom Deposits: California Division of Mines Bulletin 154, p. 281-290.  
Kesler, S. E., 1994, Mineral Resources, Economics and the Environment: Macmillan  
College Publishing Company, New York, N.Y., 391 pp.

Klein, C., Hurlbut, C. S., 1985, Manual of Minerology: 20th ed., John Wiley & Sons, New York, N.Y., 596 pp.

Kesler, S. E., 1994, Mineral Resources, Economics and the Environment, Macmillian  College Publishing Company, New York, N.Y., 391 pp.

Lemons, J. F., 1996, Diatomite: U.S.G.S. Minerals Yearbook 1995, http://minerals.er.usgs.gov /minerals /pubs /commodity /datomite /250495.pdf, 4 p.

Mackin, J. H., 1961, A Stratigraphic Section in the Yakima Basalt and Ellensburg  
Formations in south-central Washington: Washington Division of Mines and  
Geology Report of Investigations 19, 45 p.

Niemi, W. L., 1981, The Identification and Stratigraphic Correlation of Basalt Aquifers in the Southern Half of The Quincy Basin, Grant County, Washington, Using  
Borehole Geophysics: University of Idaho, M. S. Thesis.

Oakeshott, G. B., 1957, Diatomite: Mineral Commodities of California, Department of  
Natural Resources Division of Mines Bulletin 176, p. 183-193.

Werner, D. ed., 1977, The Biology of Diatoms, Botanical Monographs, University of  
California Press, v. 13, 498 pp.


 

November 29, 2006

Vacaville, CA, USA: Vacaville's First Solar-Powered Community Opens to the Public This Weekend

Edenbridge Homes, provider of quality built, efficiently planned new homes, is installing PowerLight's aesthetic SunTile® Solar Electric System in its Ventana community in Vacaville. Edenbridge Homes, by providing solar as a standard in these homes, is constructing Vacaville's first solar community. The Ventana community will harness California's abundant sunshine to provide clean, reliable emissions-free solar power. The homes combine energy-efficient design features with solar electric generation to reduce the homes' electric bills by an estimated 50%.

more: http://www.solarbuzz.com/News/NewsNAPR710.htm


A PowerLight PV System on a Nearby Residential Development

 


 

Click here to join fossilfreedom
Click to join fossilfreedom