The Lung Brothers

Hanging out at the extreme end of the long tail ...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pimping my Effluent.

Loath though I am to bore our loyal readership with the tedious details of my professional life, I did notice a piece of jargon the other day that might perchance merit a mention.

There’s no pretty way of putting this, I am by trade an industrial chemist.

Curiously enough, despite the pariah status that this position affords, I do actually manage to sleep at night. This is because I deal mainly in the field of waste purification, so I suppose I’m technically one of the good guys. Well, at least that’s about as good as it gets when Greenpeace considers you to be a nefarious minion of the Dark Lord. I also get to crack that wonderful party joke, you know, the one where you tell other guests that you’re ‘in human waste’ and the watch them look down at your shoes. (Yeah. Har, har! Oh, my fucking sides! Sigh.)


Now down to business. As mentioned, the other day I came across a very strange and quite disturbing tendency in the naming of industrial purification units.

For example, in the field air purification, there exists a gizmo that literally washes airflows. Lets say you have an air emission with a serious rotten egg smell and you really don’t want to spew it into the atmosphere. (Stop me if I’m getting too technical here) You basically let the air flow upwards through a packed column while sprinkling water with a little dissolved caustic soda from above. The upwardly moving air meets the downwardly moving spray and the caustic neutralizes the nasty smell. You’re literally giving the air a shower. This nifty piece of equipment is called a ‘Scrubber’. No I’m not kidding. That’s what it’s called. And not just that but it’s full title is a ‘Wet Scrubber’.

Now if this sordid nickname were just a one-off, you’d turn a blind eye to the whole business, wouldn’t you? But what if it’s counterpart were to be given an equally saucy moniker?

You see, a similar set up exists but with the opposite in mind. If you have some wastewater containing an undesirable light organic substance, you sprinkle it from above over the same packed column but this time it’s the upwardly flowing air that removes most of the volatile crap. In this case, it’s the air that cleans the water and not vice versa, but the principal (called mass transfer) is the same. This industrial installation is known as…you’d never guess…. a ‘Stripper’. My friends, I shit you not.

A Wet Scrubber? A Stripper? Come on. Somewhere, there’s got to a geek in a spotless, white labcoat having a good laugh at our expense.

Well as a cutting-edge chemist, I feel it is this blog’s duty to push for every advancement in the field of technical nomenclature. So here are a few suggestions for naming other purification systems that already exist on the market:



Pimp Screen – a simple mesh barrier that eliminates some of the larger solids from the initial wastewaters and who would cut your cracker ass if you so much as looked sideways at one of it’s bitchez.





Floozy Aeration Unit – A simple cascade that allow oxygen from the air into the waste water to lightly oxidize some of the transition metals and let volatiles evaporate. And as you can see from the photo, this installation is absolutely gagging for it.




Coagulation/Flocculation Tramp – Here’s where you add special chemicals which cause the very small particles in the water to clump together so that they will later sink to the bottom of the tank. An absolute trollop and she knows it.




Wanton Clarification Jezebel– This unit allows the clumped solids in question to settle to the bottom of a tank to later be removed and a feisty little minx she is too.





Bare-Faced Filtration Strumpet – Pass the water through filters filled with beds of fine sand or other granular material. Yeah, I’ll bet HER bed could tell a few stories.




Homewrecking Adsorption Hussy – Activated carbon acts like a sponge for dissolved organic material. A filter of this material will leave the water very pure which is the only pure thing about this comely wench.



Disinfection Harlot – At the end of the process you just want to make sure that no pathogenic microbes have made it through the chain. This is usually carried out with chlorine although other options are available. Yeah, give me some of your sweet chlorine baby, you know how I like it.



Distribution Reservoir Stud – Naturally where you store the water after it’s been completely purified from where it is distributed into the network. Coz Pumpin’s da name and pumpin’s da game.





FLOWCHART SHOWING THE LONG LIST OF FALLEN WOMEN INVOLVED IN WASTEWATER TREATMENT

1 Comments:

Blogger Gregor Samsa said...

vapor extraction
Shear Box Diffuser
Sparger
flocculation
membrane bioreactor
sequencing batch reactor
extended aeration
oxidation ditch
digester (aerobic or anaerobic)
trickling filter
nanofiltration
reverse osmosis
activated sludge
trickling filter


ad naseum, now you're talking my bidness!

10:13 am  

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