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Old 01-09-2017, 12:34 PM
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Default In case the nuclear apocalypse burns off all our O2.



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Interesting info regarding oxygen generation. Even though there's a TED-talk video attached, it's only four minutes long.

More or less posting this to inform, but also to get some feedback. The general points of interest (in my opinion)

1. Only 6-8 plants per person is sufficient to generate enough oxygen.
2. Especially in a "bunker" environment, adding this type of efficient CO2, etc., filters solves a LOT of problems!

Anyway, the link's posted before. I'm still exploring this topic and would welcome anybody "poking holes" in this idea.

http://wondergressive.com/three-plant-fresh-air-system/[/URL]
Old 01-10-2017, 01:15 PM
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Poking holes? I'd be happy to. Because this claim that 6-8 plants/person would work as an efficient CO2 scrubbing mechanism in a bunker or other sealed/semi-sealed environment is crazy talk.

But first... I don't really understand what you mean by "Burns off all our O2". Nuclear detonations do not burn O2 because they do not produce energy via a chemical reaction. Their energy is produced via a nuclear reaction, namely the splitting and or fusing of atoms. You could air burst every single nuclear weapon on the planet and there would still be plenty of O2 to breathe. In a bunker, fallout shelter, even the ISS, the respiratory danger isn't that you run out of O2 so much as the percentage of CO2 gets too high. In short, the nuclear detonations aren't burning up the oxygen... you are (and producing CO2 which at too high of a percentage will cause headaches, convulsions, and death). And no, I'm not talking about carbon monoxide... I'm talking about carbon dioxide.

Second... and this is going to blow your mind... contrary to popular (non-scientific) opinion, the oxygen produced by plants doesn't come primarily from CO2, it comes from the water plants absorb. With the average person requiring ~600 L of oxygen per day... there is simply no way for 6 to 8 waist high plants to produce that kind of oxygen. I don't care what this guy claims. Let's put him in a room with 12 hours of breathing air and his 8 plants and see what happens. I bet he doesn't make it 24 hours.

If you had 600-800 plants with sufficient water (and light) per person, it *might* work, The Russians did an experiment back in the 60s called BIOS-3 which was supposed to produce food and oxygen via plants in a closed system... but even if you were to do it, it would not only NOT solve a lot of problems, it would create even more problems. You would need additional light (fuel/energy), space, and water for the plants. Those three things are usually pretty hard to come by in a bunker environment... unless money is no object to you. One or two small plants for psychological comfort is fine... but using plants as your primary CO2 mitigation in a sealed/low air-exchange environment like a bunker will get you killed.
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:23 PM
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First off, thanks for the input.

The title was sort of a joke, really. Probably not a very funny one. I struggled a bit to dream up a good reason to want to obtain oxygen via less-conventional means (vs just opening a window and inhaling). But the topic's important to me for all the reasons I CAN'T dream up at the moment.

On first blush, I'm inclined to be skeptical about this whole thing. But the guy's done a TED talk on the topic (link supplied) and I haven't seen a whole lot of legitimate arguments against it. TED typically does "push the envelope" on stuff, but hardly engages in wild hyperbole that's easily debunked.
Also, I thought perhaps I'm just misunderstanding the guy's point. But at around 1:55 of his four-minute presentation, he says

"In fact, you could be in a bottle, with the cap on top, and you would not die.
At all. And you wouldn't need any fresh air."

Anyhow, I'll continue to research it. I'm already putting together a hydroponics setup, so the water concerns are lessened a bit. This is something where I'm chewing-on a redundant/backup system to the other stuff involved.

https://www.ted.com/talks/kamal_meat...h_air#t-103020
Old 01-10-2017, 06:01 PM
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Let's just die and get it over with. Who the hell wants to suffer through that apocalyptic world. We'll leave it to the plants, sea life and small animals that can actually survive.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:47 PM
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Default In case the nuclear apocalypse burns off all our O2.

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Let's just die and get it over with. Who the hell wants to suffer through that apocalyptic world. We'll leave it to the plants, sea life and small animals that can actually survive.


Better be ready to put a bullet in your head because unless you're in close its either survive or die a slow agonizing death.

As far as the plant thing goes... its hogwash. If it worked they'd use plants on the ISS i stead of the pricey CO2 scrubbers and electrolysis to make O2.

Hydroponics while not a bad idea, won't make it any easier or effective for O2 production or CO2 scrubbing. It may help on the margins if you have A LOT of greenery, but its not going to have the capacity or capability to act as a backup unless you're setting it up on a massive scale.
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Old 01-10-2017, 11:33 PM
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Yeah, thanks for the feedback, WImountainMan. All things being equal, I'll go with the "too good to be true" adage. And like you said, it'd be EVERYWHERE at this point.
Old 01-11-2017, 12:09 PM
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With nuclear weapon fallout, you don't really need to keep your bunker air-tight, at least not for very long. The bad stuff is on the ground within about 24 hours, the rest (which has already decayed significantly) will come down for decades. The "Blast from the Past" / Fallout the videogame portrayal of nuclear aftermath where you need to be sheltered in some sort of self-sustaining cocoon for years is complete hooey. Keep the ventilation/circulator off for the 24 hours that the early fallout is coming down, after that cycle it for based on need or on a predetermined schedule to keep the CO2 levels down.

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Old 01-11-2017, 12:38 PM
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For a more expansive examination of the topic consider the book "Growing Fresh Air"

https://www.amazon.com/How-Grow-Fres...2?pageNumber=4
Old 01-11-2017, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WImountainMan View Post
With nuclear weapon fallout, you don't really need to keep your bunker air-tight, at least not for very long. The bad stuff is on the ground within about 24 hours, the rest (which has already decayed significantly) will come down for decades. The "Blast from the Past" / Fallout the videogame portrayal of nuclear aftermath where you need to be sheltered in some sort of self-sustaining cocoon for years is complete hooey. Keep the ventilation/circulator off for the 24 hours that the early fallout is coming down, after that cycle it for based on need or on a predetermined schedule to keep the CO2 levels down.
The point of the Fallout shelters ( as sold to the occupants anyway ) was that they could continue their life without bother. In that reality they were setup as settings for experiments however. ( thus getting vaults with 999 men and 1 woman and the reverse. And worse. ).

Depending on your location you might wish you could live underground for a year. If yer downwind of a close proximity ground burst and you get the motherload fallout you could easily be stuck 3-4months and still be in an unsafe location to be outside.

Salted devices and all bets are off.
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Old 01-11-2017, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by DWwolf View Post
The point of the Fallout shelters ( as sold to the occupants anyway ) was that they could continue their life without bother. In that reality they were setup as settings for experiments however. ( thus getting vaults with 999 men and 1 woman and the reverse. And worse. ).

Depending on your location you might wish you could live underground for a year. If yer downwind of a close proximity ground burst and you get the motherload fallout you could easily be stuck 3-4months and still be in an unsafe location to be outside.

Salted devices and all bets are off.
Can't argue any of that, other than salted bombs... They're great centerpieces for fiction but in reality no one fields them. The postulated uses require wildly optimistic conditions and conversion rates to achieve the imagined widespread zones of lethality.
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Old 01-11-2017, 06:49 PM
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Well, DWwolf touches on part of my concern, and the reason that I'm dwelling on this topic so much.

I live near a site that, according to a manager there I once knew, was #2 on the Soviet Union's target list.

Either way, I'm getting some good information. I may be able to just have a REALLY good filtration system, without having to dream-up something like extreme. In any case, I will have some of these plants as well. Even if they're just for decoration.
Old 01-11-2017, 08:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodfoot View Post
Well, DWwolf touches on part of my concern, and the reason that I'm dwelling on this topic so much.

I live near a site that, according to a manager there I once knew, was #2 on the Soviet Union's target list.

Either way, I'm getting some good information. I may be able to just have a REALLY good filtration system, without having to dream-up something like extreme. In any case, I will have some of these plants as well. Even if they're just for decoration.
Is it a hard target they would need to dig down to get to? If not, there isn't likely to be a fallout hazard.

Filtration-wise there are three main components of fission products. The noble gasses, which you can't really filter out because they're inert... but, that also means they aren't a hazard apart from their cloudshine because your body doesn't absorb them. You breathe them in, then pretty much right back out again.

Then there are the particulates. With weapon fallout, they're pretty easy to filter out because nearly all of your particulates will be >3 microns and most (~90%) will be >20. So a common household furnace filter will get most of it, a HEPA rated one will stop virtually all of it.

Then there are the volatile nuclides. Materials that can exist in both solid particulate and vapor form. This is where your I-131 sits... and it's a little more difficult to deal with. Filters rated for radioiodine are required here (usually they incorporate activated charcoal). In lieu of or addition to filtration, blocking agents (KI) can be used for younger folks. If you're over 40... it's not as big of a concern. I haven't been able to find much on the transport and resuspension of volatile nuclides in relation to weapon fallout.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodfoot View Post
Interesting info regarding oxygen generation. Even though there's a TED-talk video attached, it's only four minutes long.

More or less posting this to inform, but also to get some feedback. The general points of interest (in my opinion)

1. Only 6-8 plants per person is sufficient to generate enough oxygen.
2. Especially in a "bunker" environment, adding this type of efficient CO2, etc., filters solves a LOT of problems!

Anyway, the link's posted before. I'm still exploring this topic and would welcome anybody "poking holes" in this idea.

http://wondergressive.com/three-plant-fresh-air-system/[/URL]
From the biosphere testing it is closer to 400 to 500 plants per person.
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Old 01-13-2017, 11:10 PM
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Is it a hard target they would need to dig down to get to? If not, there isn't likely to be a fallout hazard.
I can say that it's definitely a "hard target". Extensive bunker complex, etc. How does that change the fallout dynamic?
Old 01-13-2017, 11:25 PM
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Although land-based plants generate oxygen, 70-80% of the O2 we breath comes from the sea...
Old 01-14-2017, 12:39 AM
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Although land-based plants generate oxygen, 70-80% of the O2 we breath comes from the sea...
Very correct.
Old 01-14-2017, 03:25 PM
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Default In case the nuclear apocalypse burns off all our O2.

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I can say that it's definitely a "hard target". Extensive bunker complex, etc. How does that change the fallout dynamic?
So Offut, Cheyenne mountain, Raven Rock, Mount Weather, etc...

Easy... stuff that's underground needs to be hit with a surface burst (meaning the centerpoint of the detonation is at or near the surface) in order to generate enough seismic energy to collapse or destroy the facility, contact it with the fireball, etc. When this is done all of that dirt, rock, and soil is vaporized and mixed with the fission products. Some of the debris is "made radioactive" through neutron bombardment as well. All of that material is thrown up into the air as a tremendous amount of fallout. If its an extensive complex, you can probably count on multiple hits "just to be sure", which also increases the amount of fallout produced and the subsequent radiation levels of the areas that receive said fallout.

Edit: Forgot to mention RNEPs (Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrators) or "nuclear bunker busters". If the Russians/Chinese/whoever used an RNEP, that would change the level of fallout production as well. RNEPs tend to be smaller yield and detonate sub-surface, but that doesn't necessarily mean less fallout because a subsurface burst can still throw a lot of dirt into the sky (see the Sedan test burst). There are some scholarly articles out there that look into what sort of fallout might be produced by such a weapon.

On the other hand if a weapon is air burst (fireball doesn't contact the ground) this tends to maximize the range of blast over soft targets like cities where you only need 10 or 20 psi to collapse buildings. When this is done all you have are the bomb casing and fission products so there's far less material. The airburst fragments usually get drawn up into the stratosphere where they fall out over decades. However, if conditions are juuuuuust right, or there's precipitation in the area, you can still get some fallout through a rainout or snowout where the material seeds precipitation.
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:02 AM
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@WImountainMan

For situation involved a surface or sub-surface blast, would "mountainous terrain" around the site for miles have any effect? Positively or negatively? We have a lot of these "knobby-type" mountains/hills about us.
Old 01-15-2017, 12:34 PM
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Default In case the nuclear apocalypse burns off all our O2.

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@WImountainMan



For situation involved a surface or sub-surface blast, would "mountainous terrain" around the site for miles have any effect? Positively or negatively? We have a lot of these "knobby-type" mountains/hills about us.


Positive effect against blast, possibly. Any effect against fallout, positive or negative, not really. Distance is the only factor that really helps because the fallout is both more dispersed and has had some time to decay before arrival.
Old 01-15-2017, 12:45 PM
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@WImountainMan

For situation involved a surface or sub-surface blast, would "mountainous terrain" around the site for miles have any effect? Positively or negatively? We have a lot of these "knobby-type" mountains/hills about us.
This is not a good location for a hundred reasons, here are a few:
1. To destroy a really hard target requires a "really big bomb". Or several. Which means massive ground shifts. Earthquakes like. With unknown consequences.
2. What if one or more bombs miss?
3. With all physical destruction (and astronomical amounts of fallout) the life after would be virtually impossible in the area.
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