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#1 2012-04-03 06:46:19

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,900

Bamboo shoots up the chart

I have always advocated the merits of bamboo as a prime plant for Mars.

So I was pleased to see this article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-17568088

"Bamboo is being hailed as a new super material, with uses ranging from textiles to construction. It also has the potential to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, the biggest greenhouse gas, and provide some of the world's poorest people with cash.

Bamboo's image is undergoing a transformation. Some now call it "the timber of the 21st Century".  "


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#2 2012-04-06 07:12:39

Void
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Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

http://www.lewisbamboo.com/cold-hardy-bamboo.html

http://www.bamboogrove.com/bamboo-paper.html

http://www.google.com/search?q=paper+fr … d=0CHAQsAQ

It would be nice if it was even more cold tollerant, but I am sure a greenhouse which limits it's coldest climate to that of an Iowa winter is possible on Mars.

I have always wondered how people would be able to maintain hygene on Mars without sanitary paper, such as kleenex, paper towel, and so on. And I don't think people who fly space ships would want to be doing the right hand left hand thing.

Paper from bamboo.

I also mention bamboo or other plants as evaporators.  Water with grey or even worse water, and then let them eveporate more or less clean vapors into the greenhouse air, and then condense reasonably clean water using the Martian cold nights.

Obviously this is a case where Mars is way ahead of the Moon as a place to do it.  So, less reason to divert to the Moon.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#3 2012-04-06 11:09:12

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

Bamboo is an amazing material. just hunt on youtube for bamboo artists (lots of art, but also intricately crafted things one would consider impossible with 'normal' wood.

It's also very useable for tubing, and trasportation of various fluids, of course not as long lasting as pvc pipes, but you'd be amazed how long they last. Fotr a lot of applications plenty long.

My wife is a paper conservator and 'cuts' some of her precision tools (spatula) out of bamboo, incredibly flexible stuff if you cut it thin enough.

EDIT: I asked, and truth be told: buxus is even better for those spatula....

Last edited by Rxke (2012-04-06 11:14:59)


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#4 2012-04-06 14:58:09

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,900

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

Void wrote:

http://www.lewisbamboo.com/cold-hardy-bamboo.html

http://www.bamboogrove.com/bamboo-paper.html

http://www.google.com/search?q=paper+fr … d=0CHAQsAQ

It would be nice if it was even more cold tollerant, but I am sure a greenhouse which limits it's coldest climate to that of an Iowa winter is possible on Mars.

I have always wondered how people would be able to maintain hygene on Mars without sanitary paper, such as kleenex, paper towel, and so on. And I don't think people who fly space ships would want to be doing the right hand left hand thing.

Paper from bamboo.

I also mention bamboo or other plants as evaporators.  Water with grey or even worse water, and then let them eveporate more or less clean vapors into the greenhouse air, and then condense reasonably clean water using the Martian cold nights.

Obviously this is a case where Mars is way ahead of the Moon as a place to do it.  So, less reason to divert to the Moon.

I think we are talking internal agriculture for the bamboo.

Paper may be needed for a few purposes. I don't think it will be much required though. All written communication will be via laptops and local area networks/radio communication.

Toilet paper is not necessary as the Romans with their sponge on a stick demonstrated. I am sure we could come up with a space age equivalent. I understand astronauts use wipes (also for body washing) but I suspect manufacture of wipes is quite a complex process.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#5 2012-04-06 21:05:25

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,144

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

Not to mention the added tonnage just to clean one's self....

Whats the temperature range that Bamboo needs to thrive?
What is the amount of lighting needed for good growth?
How much waste water could a grove treat?

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#6 2012-04-07 06:45:38

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,900

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

Here's a good guide to climate range for various species of bamboo.


http://uk.peeplo.com/search/?q=bamboo%2 … &from=adg4

The temperature range seems to go from tropical to teh sub-zero environment of the Himalayas.  I presume the fastest growing plants are the tropical ones.


And from Wikipedia:

"Bamboos are some of the fastest growing plants in the world,[2] as some species have been recorded as growing up to 100 cm (39 in) within a 24 hour period due to a unique rhizome-dependent system."

100cms in 24 hour sounds the sort of plant we want and need on Mars.

Bamboo struts for construction work could be v. useful. Also, it could be used for flooring and panelling.

Bamboo is a remarkable plant.

Of course we don't know exactly how it will perform in Mars conditions but one suspect the tropical plants will respond strongly to light cues above the plant.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#7 2012-04-07 11:11:21

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

OK, now I get to become public enemy #1.

Bamboo OK, fine, the pressurized gardens would be satisfying.  The wood good.  A sponge on a stick, ICK!

Have you considered Alergies?  Runny noses. Well what if?  What if a disease developes or is imported.  And for clean up, paper products are valuable.  And paper itself is not indespensible.  Our paperless office where I write software for, is hardly so.  I guess if you had to.  But why limit yourselves.

I propose paper from Algae.  Algae has no reason to manufacture cellulose, but could a type be created that would do so?

Pick one that is happy on cold brine like arctic sea water, one that likes about the solar flux that would exist in a greenhouse on Mars.

Make a nominally unpressurized greenhouse with a pool of cold brine in it.  Maybe -2 degrees C or colder, up to the coldest temperature where that algae could be productive to it's maximum.

The point would be to generate Oxygen to be collected from the Greenhouse and Cellulose.  From that paper, and fake wood as well.  And the dried product could also be a fuel in a pinch, perhaps easily stored outside with minimal protection.  Not a prefered fuel, just an option.

I know how responses occur here,  bamboo is fine, but if this other thing could occur why not that as well.


I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.

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#8 2012-04-07 11:51:01

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,900

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

Void wrote:

OK, now I get to become public enemy #1.

Bamboo OK, fine, the pressurized gardens would be satisfying.  The wood good.  A sponge on a stick, ICK!

Have you considered Alergies?  Runny noses. Well what if?  What if a disease developes or is imported.  And for clean up, paper products are valuable.  And paper itself is not indespensible.  Our paperless office where I write software for, is hardly so.  I guess if you had to.  But why limit yourselves.

I propose paper from Algae.  Algae has no reason to manufacture cellulose, but could a type be created that would do so?

Pick one that is happy on cold brine like arctic sea water, one that likes about the solar flux that would exist in a greenhouse on Mars.

Make a nominally unpressurized greenhouse with a pool of cold brine in it.  Maybe -2 degrees C or colder, up to the coldest temperature where that algae could be productive to it's maximum.

The point would be to generate Oxygen to be collected from the Greenhouse and Cellulose.  From that paper, and fake wood as well.  And the dried product could also be a fuel in a pinch, perhaps easily stored outside with minimal protection.  Not a prefered fuel, just an option.

I know how responses occur here,  bamboo is fine, but if this other thing could occur why not that as well.

Well I think the argument for virtual elimination of imported paper is one of mass - it's expensive to ship it in - and the argument against paper production on Mars is there are many other priorities which we should address first.   There aren't really many arguments for paper use.

The sponge on the stick would be a high tec version of course and personalised!  I'm thinking of maybe an antic-bacterial solution for storage.

For runny noses, the traditional washable handkerchief is a substitute. Again I think there would be a sanitary washing facility.

You can make paper from bamboo - not sure how soft  it is! BUt I am sure we could grow crops from which we could make paper-like products. I just think we should minimise the amount required. 
Remember you can use things like wipe over boards as well as laptops and hand held devices.

If you are concerned about disease I would have thought the last thing you want to start doing is introducing tanks of water.

I would hope that disease was not a great issue. Clearly all the first colonists would be medically screened in great detail.  Disease organisms on Earth won't be taking off with the Mars Transfer Vehicle. All soils, seeds  and fertilisers liquids would be closely screened for disease. Actually the lack of disease in space seems to be something of an issue for astronauts - their immune system is kind of "stood down" I think which means they are vulnerable on their return.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#9 2012-04-08 15:53:46

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,643
Website

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

There will always be a need for paper.  I don't care how "electronic" we get,  you will always have to have a permanent storage medium for critical data. 

And,  nothing will ever replace toilet paper. 

If bamboo is good for those uses,  then so be it. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#10 2012-04-08 17:02:12

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,900

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

GW Johnson wrote:

There will always be a need for paper.  I don't care how "electronic" we get,  you will always have to have a permanent storage medium for critical data. 

And,  nothing will ever replace toilet paper. 

If bamboo is good for those uses,  then so be it. 

GW

GW -

Paper is only so-so as a permanent storage medium. It can be damaged by insects, water, fire and numerous other occurences.

I think permanent storage is better achieved by multiple device location, regular backing up on to memory keys and so on. The Mars colony can also send its data to Earth for storage there (and someone here pointed out before that one Mars's economic uses will be as the ultimate back-up for earth-origin data).

Paper is nice, and I am not saying there will be NO paper at all. But it will be pretty rare I think, used mainly for artwork, citations and certificates etc.

As for toilets, see this on the latest Japanese technology:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilets_in_Japan

The Japanese washlet apparently allows users to dispense with toilet paper entirely. But maybe some combination of this and a hi-tech Roman stick would obviate the need for paper.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#11 2012-04-08 17:14:15

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,658

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

louis wrote:

Paper is only so-so as a permanent storage medium. It can be damaged by insects, water, fire and numerous other occurences.

Friendly ribbing: You obviously don't work in the data-preservation industry, heehee!

At the moment, despite all precautions, and rah rah, digital is still *very* finicky for long term storage. You have to *actively* keep it 'fresh' or stuff gets unreadable in less than a decade.

On the other hand, I regularly work with paper documents that are hundreds years old, and nearly pristine, and no-one had to do a thing to keep them that way. Store dry and cool.
That's all.

Paper has one big advantage: it's 'human-readable' no machines needed. No software needed.

NASA has tapes it can't read back, they're barely 3 or four decades old. The tapes are okay. No-one builds the spare parts of the readers, so they have a problem.


The toilet part on the other hand is spot on, paper is soooo 19th c tech.


ExoMars' launcher's 2nd stage is probably en route to Mars. Unsterilised... yikes

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#12 2012-04-08 19:56:15

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,900

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

Rxke wrote:
louis wrote:

Paper is only so-so as a permanent storage medium. It can be damaged by insects, water, fire and numerous other occurences.

Friendly ribbing: You obviously don't work in the data-preservation industry, heehee!

At the moment, despite all precautions, and rah rah, digital is still *very* finicky for long term storage. You have to *actively* keep it 'fresh' or stuff gets unreadable in less than a decade.

On the other hand, I regularly work with paper documents that are hundreds years old, and nearly pristine, and no-one had to do a thing to keep them that way. Store dry and cool.
That's all.

Paper has one big advantage: it's 'human-readable' no machines needed. No software needed.

NASA has tapes it can't read back, they're barely 3 or four decades old. The tapes are okay. No-one builds the spare parts of the readers, so they have a problem.


The toilet part on the other hand is spot on, paper is soooo 19th c tech.

I was aware that electronic data preservation is not perfect. But you can have a copy chain going, with data being copied every say 5 years at multiple locations. It doesn't get much safer than that.

I think the other point I would make as regards the early colony is concerned: what exactly is all this paper required for. There will be no stock exchange, insurance policies, court cases , newspapers etc etc. When you look around you at the paper in your room, you get an idea of what it relates to.

If we want a paper archive we simply send the data to earth for it to be printed on to paper there.

I like paper but I am not sure why anyone would think we need much of it on Mars, certainly not in the first few decades.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#13 2012-04-12 21:42:15

clark
Member
Registered: 2001-09-20
Posts: 6,252

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

origami, now forgotten art,
unfortunate is this empty fortune cookie-
I read an obituary for the Doodle, written with the stub of a number 2 pencil on our last napkin.
Please try not to spill.

Last edited by clark (2012-04-13 18:54:11)

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#14 2012-04-13 09:46:34

RGClark
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From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: 2006-07-05
Posts: 501
Website

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

louis wrote:

"Bamboos are some of the fastest growing plants in the world,[2] as some species have been recorded as growing up to 100 cm (39 in) within a 24 hour period due to a unique rhizome-dependent system."
100cms in 24 hour sounds the sort of plant we want and need on Mars.

Yeah, I was amazed when I read that. Apparently it is true. Here's a BBC time lapse video showing the growth over a 24 hour period:

Bamboo Time Lapse Growth 24hrs c/o BBC World.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfDOMwFX5Hg


  Bob Clark

Last edited by RGClark (2012-04-13 09:50:51)


Nanotechnology now can produce the space elevator and private orbital launchers. It now also makes possible the long desired 'flying cars'. This crowdfunding campaign is to prove it:
Nanotech: from air to space.
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nano … 13319568#/

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#15 2012-04-13 11:55:15

GW Johnson
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From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 3,643
Website

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

Bamboo is actually a decent structural material.  Good strength/weight,  and rather easy to work.  Joining seems best done with lashings,  actually. 

You will have to have a place with air and water to grow it in.  There's osmotic pressures of transpiration to consider,  among many things. 

I doubt we'll bio-engineer anything that could live outside until Mars is terraformed.  The water vapor pressure problem is insoluble at 7 mbar dry CO2. 

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#16 2012-04-13 17:08:28

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,900

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

GW Johnson wrote:

Bamboo is actually a decent structural material.  Good strength/weight,  and rather easy to work.  Joining seems best done with lashings,  actually. 

You will have to have a place with air and water to grow it in.  There's osmotic pressures of transpiration to consider,  among many things. 

I doubt we'll bio-engineer anything that could live outside until Mars is terraformed.  The water vapor pressure problem is insoluble at 7 mbar dry CO2. 

GW


I agree - it's a lot easier to tend the plants without having to don a space suit in any case. The Japanese use (or used to use) bamboo for scaffolding on pretty tall structures.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#17 2012-07-23 22:38:29

JoshNH4H
Moderator
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,513
Website

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

First, a couple facts regarding the material strength of Bamboo:

Density: 400-800 kg/m^3 (Increases as plants get older)
Flexural strength (5 year old bamboo): 185 MPa
Flexural strength (1 year old bamboo): 120 MPa
Elastic Modulus (5 years): 13.4 GPa
Elastic Modulus: (1 year): 8.7 GPa
Compressive Strength (5 years): 87 MPa
Compressive Strength (1 year): 51 MPa
Tensile Strength: 350 MPa (Wikipedia; uncited)

Sources:

This thesis

Bamboo looks like a fairly decent construction material, but the question is always one of resources.  For example, bamboo, like all plants, will not be very efficient at turning raw sunlight into electricity.  Terraformer has suggested a figure of 1% efficiency for the fastest growing varieties (which may or may not have the strengths cited here), but I don't know what information he has to corroborate that.  Wikipedia suggests that it is a reasonable value.  We can get heat energy from concentrated sunlight at 75% plus efficiency and electrical energy from same at 15% efficiency.

We need to ask ourselves, what resources are required to turn bamboo into a construction material or into paper, and how do these compare with those required to make comparable materials chemically or physically instead of biologically?  I would argue that due to low efficiency of plants and the significant resources involved in pressurized greenhouses, watering, and harvesting Bamboo (as well as the excess oxygen that would be produced beyond that needed for breathing; how would you separate it out from the rest of the atmosphere?  Would you try to store it or would you just release it?)

If we're looking for a construction material, I suspect we will mostly be set between Steel, Basalt Fiber, Basalt Fiber composite (e.g with a polymer), icecrete (optionally composite with steel or basalt fiber), bricks, cast basalt, and glass fiber we will be able to obviate the need for basalt while replacing it with cheaper materials. 

Paper is another matter.  Bamboo is probably the best source material for paper, where it's needed.  I propose something similar to (if not exactly the same as) a CD for electronic information storage, seeing as CDs tend to store fairly well over long periods of time.


-Josh

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#18 2019-08-10 15:36:26

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,144

Re: Bamboo shoots up the chart

clark wrote:

origami, now forgotten art,
unfortunate is this empty fortune cookie-
I read an obituary for the Doodle, written with the stub of a number 2 pencil on our last napkin.
Please try not to spill.

Documenting our poetry will always look best in paperback form...

As

GW Johnson wrote:

There will always be a need for paper.  I don't care how "electronic" we get,  you will always have to have a permanent storage medium for critical data. 
And,  nothing will ever replace toilet paper. 
If bamboo is good for those uses,  then so be it. 

GW

Plus what else can grow so fast....

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