Hack Chat Transcript, Part 3

A event log for Open Source Biology and Biohacking Hack Chat

Hacking carbon, oxygen and nitrogen, not just silicon

lutetiumLutetium 02/21/2019 at 16:470 Comments

neil k. sheridanFeb-13 1:30 PM
Hi everyone! I came late.. Did you talk about baterio-algae fuel cells!? I was just researching about these for CO2 sequestration and power generation! This paper was pretty cool (it's on scihub)

neil k. sheridanFeb-13 1:30 PM

anfractuosityFeb-13 1:31 PM
ooh that sounds interesting re. radiation resistant microbes

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:32 PM
Fuel cells are cool. I did some experimenting with them but gave up when a chance to do mammalian genetics came up. Still have all the materials so maybe I'll come back to it.

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:33 PM
I've been trying o isolate R. palustris which is one of the best microbes for fuel cells but it's proven challenging. Buggers just wont seem to grow. Trying to just get a pure culture from someone in the meean time

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:37 PM
Also they're the most versatile organism ever described. They eat the most toxic garbage we 've made as a species, excrete electrons, and are photosynthetic. Also they fix nitrogen. And are rich in vitamins so feeding them to fish or other wildlife is good for them. And innoculating soil with them makes plants grow better

neil k. sheridanFeb-13 1:37 PM
I thought so! Hopefully I will have a go at making one! Phew I just looked up buying R. palustris culture - it is like £360! Even the algae is expensive!

Andrew SmartFeb-13 1:37 PM
@Thomas Shaddack I'm curious about FEP and PTFE now, I do see one claim that there is a PTFE printer. I guess the parts should be printed/made within a flow hood. With appropriate filtering of the exhaust. Next time you hear about a mass bird death you should suspect a chemist venting a ton of fluorocarbons to the atmosphere (only source I have is a BBC documentary on Teflon manufacture pollution ).

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:38 PM
look up EM-1 probiotic. It's a mixed culture that contains it. people have had success isolating it from that mix which is what Im tryng to do

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:38 PM
@Andrew Smart i was thinking about fluoropolymer coating using a plasma reactor, with the gas feed being thermally depolymerized ptfe.

neil k. sheridanFeb-13 1:38 PM
ah ok thanks! Will do!

anfractuosityFeb-13 1:39 PM
is that the manufacturer of teflon that produces toxic stuff? i didn't know that

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:39 PM
@Andrew Smart with vacuum pyrolysis you won't get as annoying products as in air.

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:39 PM
@anfractuosity in european union and california pretty much everything is toxic. those places are dangerous to live in.

anfractuosityFeb-13 1:40 PM
i'm genuinely confused, as teflon itself is very unreactive i thought

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:40 PM
@anfractuosity even soldering alloys cause cancer in california. stay away from there!

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:40 PM
@anfractuosity teflon is unreactive at sanely low temperatures. above 270c it starts decomposing.

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:41 PM
its the binder that they use to stick teflon to stuff that's toxic. so in cheap products they haven't baked it off sufficently and when you first use the items you're expsoed. SO baking teflon coated items for a while in a well ventilated area can help drive that crap off, but not so hot that it decomposes

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:42 PM
@anfractuosity (for here let's consider teflon===ptfe, sometimes you get other fluorocrap with the same trademark.)

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:42 PM
@thethoughtemporium what would you suggest for converting lubricant-grade teflon powder to a coating-grade teflon suspension?

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:43 PM
no idea. Haven't worked with teflon enough to say

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:43 PM
@thethoughtemporium could your ultrasonic homogenizer work for deaggregation of nanoparticles?

anfractuosityFeb-13 1:44 PM
"Fluoroantimonic acid thermally decomposes at higher temperatures, generating free hydrogen fluoride gas. It is exceptionally corrosive and can only be stored in containers lined with Teflon." that's pretty interesting

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:46 PM
hexafluorophosphate/hexafluoroantimonate salts are interesting. organic ones (iodonium, sulfonium..) are used as photoacid generators as they release these.

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:46 PM

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:46 PM
handy for photopolymerization of epoxides.

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:46 PM
I used it to lyse ecoli for the first time 2 days ago. works like a charm

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:47 PM
thought about magnetostriction design, a kilowatt-scale transducer, a knockoff of world-war 2 japanese sonar.

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:47 PM
gets pretty damn warm though. Next time I'm keeping a bucket of ice water next to me so I can chill it between runs

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:48 PM
what about fan blowing air over the thing?

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:48 PM
not enough surface area for the amount of heat being generated to be removed effciently

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:49 PM
machine ribs on it?

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:49 PM
and I can''t care fins into it without screwing with the resonance

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:49 PM

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:49 PM
yes. mk.2 design then?

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:50 PM
honestly at this point I'd buy one if I need a stronger one. It's too hard to find higher power transducers

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:50 PM
that's why i was looking at the magnetostriction.

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:50 PM
and then someone else has already done the math

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:50 PM
a bunch of nickel tubes is easier to braze together than to hunt for a chunk of piezoceramics.

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:51 PM
i'll be honest until this second i had no idea magnetostrictiv ultrasound was a thing

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:51 PM
looking into it now

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:52 PM
ww2 japan used nickel first, iron-aluminium alloy later when nickel became hard to find.

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:52 PM
now we have more modern alloys, so either said nickel or galfenol. (there are better ones but galfenol looks doable with even a small furnace.)

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:52 PM


Galfenol - Wikipedia

In materials science, galfenol is the general term for an alloy of iron and gallium. The name was first given to iron-gallium alloys by United States Navy researchers in 1998 when they discovered that adding gallium to iron could amplify iron's magnetostrictive effect up to tenfold.

Read this on Wikipedia

John Dale joined  the room.Feb-13 1:52 PM

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:53 PM
so is it literally just a stack of nickle plates with a coil around it??

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:54 PM
that's... like way too easy

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 1:54 PM
in principle yes. there will be a whole small portable hell on wheels in the details, chock-full of devils, and each of the devils carrying a bandolier with cans of worms.

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:56 PM
fair. I need to find a good resource for this.

nickirelan6 joined  the room.Feb-13 1:57 PM

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 1:59 PM
I totally just realized that these are in everything. And how a lot of sensors are made. Can't believe I hadn't heard of this

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 2:02 PM

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 2:04 PM
they dont seem overly efficent. I wonder if you can just stack the piezos to increase power

badgerFeb-13 2:07 PM
Or you could just whistle

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:09 PM

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:10 PM
i saw a paper where they used ultrasonic cavitation in brewing, to pulverise the mash

JarrettFeb-13 2:10 PM
that makes sense

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 2:10 PM
My head hurts just thinking about the amount of ultrasonic energy you'd need to do that.

JarrettFeb-13 2:10 PM
I've been wanting to try to do that with meat in sauce, or vodka in wood casks

morganFeb-13 2:11 PM
not for beer though, right? you exactly don't want a pulverized mash

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:13 PM


Read this on Arxiv

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:13 PM
that's the paper

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:14 PM
it was for beer

morganFeb-13 2:14 PM
odd, and funny title as the reason you dno't want to pulverize usually is because it causes the wort to be cloudy

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:15 PM
oh it says hydrodynamic cavitation, just checking if it was ultrasound transducers

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 2:16 PM
lol ok so a blender XD

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:18 PM
sorry yeah, it seems to use the pump to do the cavitation, wasn't how i thought it worked

JarrettFeb-13 2:19 PM

JarrettFeb-13 2:19 PM
I want to toss a lamb shoulder into an ultrasonic cleaner full of sauce

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:20 PM

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:20 PM
you've heard of sous vide i assume

JarrettFeb-13 2:20 PM

JarrettFeb-13 2:20 PM
this would be more like marinading, I assume

JarrettFeb-13 2:20 PM

JarrettFeb-13 2:20 PM
but like, instantly

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:20 PM
the ultrasound would cook it you mean eventually?

JarrettFeb-13 2:20 PM
instead of over a day or several

JarrettFeb-13 2:21 PM
no, no cooking - just all of the micro cavities filling up

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:21 PM

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:22 PM

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:22 PM
is that a done thing?

JarrettFeb-13 2:22 PM
never heard of it

Thomas ShaddackFeb-13 2:22 PM
vacuum impregnation.

JarrettFeb-13 2:22 PM
I'd guess you could do the same thing with vodka and charred wood - basically making a whiskey-ish thing really quickly instead of aging for years

JarrettFeb-13 2:22 PM
all of that is theory, but easily testable

JarrettFeb-13 2:22 PM
I will do it, some day

anfractuosityFeb-13 2:23 PM
i'm curious about artificial aging too, i think microoxygenation would be important for that too

Andrew SmartFeb-13 2:26 PM
@OnlyOneCannolo Here is a DIY rotovap: I expect there are many other instrumentation cost-lowering approaches with the presented Chemputer system (e.g. a means to control a dial of an off-the-shelf hotplate?). I hope this would lower the cost of entry for new generic drug manufacturers, allow countries with drug shortage problems to produce drugs, etc... Many possibilities.

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 2:35 PM
I'm actually making a rotovap! Been meaning to turn the vacuum coupling on the lathe for the last week or so. Hoping to get around to it early next week.

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 2:36 PM
It's pretty easy to make one if you've got a lathe. Depending on how it goes I'm contemplating selling the vacuum coupling as that's the hardest part

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 2:36 PM
may make a small run of them

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 2:39 PM
I'd wanted a metal lathe for years so when the lab finally got one I've been finding any excuse to use it. That's why I made the electroporator out of delrin instead of 3d printing it. Bought a rod of teflon for the couplings and gonna cut them to fit a 24/40 glass fitting

JarrettFeb-13 2:40 PM
I love using the lathe at my hackspace

JarrettFeb-13 2:40 PM
I wish I had more projects that needed it

JarrettFeb-13 2:40 PM
sometimes I make pens

morganFeb-13 2:42 PM
I'm finally going to get trained on ours at work, hopefully Friday

thethoughtemporiumFeb-13 2:50 PM
ok ya'll this has been fun but I've got to head out. Thanks for dropping in to chat!