TRUTH about US R&D SPENDING from BRITISH NATURE

Marc Andelman drgonfly at biosource.ultranet.com
Sat Apr 20 11:15:30 EST 1996


> Please pardon me if I interject in this conversation with a 
real life example.  I only describe my own situation because
I am more familiar with it, and seem to be the only basement
researcher in this group.

	I invented a neat little gizmo that borders on basic
science, called a flow through capacitor. This is a very simple
device that is merely two high surface area electrodes made out
of activated carbon.  It de-ionizes water about ten times
faster than reverse osmosis, for one fifth the electricity,
and much less wastewater.  It is sort of an ion exchange
that you can turn off the charge electronically.  As such,
it will make a very useful saltless water softener. It is probably
also the only technology really useful for removing nitrate,
or certain forms of nuclear waste.  This work was all done
in a spare bedroom, using bits and scraps of material from
free salesmans's samples, and equipment scrounged from 
junk yards and auctions.  The final prototype uses ordnariry
activated carbon, which is almost as cheap as dirt.  
	To my great surprise, some of the people I am negotiating
licence deals with saw this same Gizmo on CNN television. It turns
out, a big government lab is doing the same thing.  They had
spent 2MM dollars, and built it out of an impressive and
fancy sounding material called an "aerogel" .  This material
costs more than gold, and in any case, does not even have the
surface area of ordinary thermally activated carbon.  This
government lab has also been quoted in a trade magazine as calling
me a "charlatan".  They had never met me or bothered to talk to me
on the phone, or, quouted my prior patents in their recent patent.
	I have five issued patents and two allowed, that predate
them by years.  They issued a patent because it failed to quote
me as prior art, and the examiner did not catch it.  If I spend 
money filing an interferance, that is money not spent on
research or hiring people, or getting this company off the ground.
Myself, I am not smart enough to have gotten into an MIT, and
even if I did, do not believe it would have been possible to
do the work I did in my basement, due to general disrespect
for creative freedom.  Maybe if I had been willing to agree
to let a senior investigator co-sign .  Can anyone imagine
an artist painting a picture, and letting his landlord co-sign
his painting?  
	Anyway, the water treatment industry that this pertains
to is devoid of science whatever, except for a few
Masschusetts firms populated with what look like acid burn-outs
from the sixties.  Nevertheless, there is a chance  some of 
these companies will be forced to invest.  
They know what may happen if they do not.
( the ice box versus modern refrigeration)
 	Already, a company in Japan has agreed to work
on this in a limited fashion, and is probably funding a scientist in
an academic university in Kyoto. 

	Thought this might add an example to this conversation.

regards
	
Marc Andelman






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