Stefans new editorial: Angles


The earth is amazing! After a winter where our snow shovelling knowledge has really been put to trial we are currently experiencing something that can be called a late spring. Thanks to astronomy and geometry the sun's angle to my position has increased sharply in recent weeks and this has had a significant effect on the snow cover that currently prevents the daffodils and crocuses from blossoming. However, the snow cover also prevents the deer from eating them, which is obviously good from the perspective of the flowers.

The backlash with the mentioned angle increase is that the colour of my nose has gone from beige to red, but this faux pas I blame on myself because it could easily have been avoided if only a suitable sun protection lotion had been used. To my defence I can say that the last time I opened the (today dusty) bottle was in August last year so I use the time factor as an excuse.

An interesting thought in this context is that the nose is only 3 cm closer to the sun than the rest of the face, yet it is the most exposed to sunburn. With the distance of eight light minutes (!) to the sun, 3 cm should be negligible, but it may perhaps have something to do with angles - "Thank you" again... geometry!   

Anyway ... right now we are happy to all visible signs of spring, not least the formation of icicles. Certainly, the formation of these under current weather conditions is a combination of the "angle effect" but also caused by poor insulation of the buildings. The question that, of course, comes up when you meet the seasonal change and studying icicles is "how big can they actually become?"

In paper technology, there is a quality parameter referred to as "breaking length" which is the length at which a smooth strip of paper suspended at one end breaks due to its own weight. Can this observed and measurable phenomena be applied also for icicles? Assuming that the entire icicle has the same temperature, a continuously expanding icicle should eventually reach a geometric state where the cohesive forces between the molecules in a certain area of the conical structure is less than the gravity force caused by the ice mass located under the mentioned area with a break as a consequence. Right?

I made a serious attempt to empirically confirm this hypothesis a while ago but the "project" was disturbed by unexpected problems ... by mistake I hit the observed test object with my camera and I was not patient enough to start all over again (it takes some time to grow an icicle). Perhaps someone else can confirm or reject my hypothesis based on own research or conclusions combining known theoretical relationships and science laws?

However, the hard winter and the late spring have not prevented MoRe from continuing to develop the business. In the Newsletter and on the website you can read about our newly developed technique and concept to measure and handle DNC gases. You can also get familiar with our new senior process consultant Hans Grundberg, predominately working on biorefinery projects. In addition, we give you information about the Cellulose Replaces Plastic project, the opportunity to participate in a Round Robin related to Eucalyptus pulp PFI-refining and also a Save-The-Date-Teaser about Daniele Oliveira de Castro's future participation at the Tech Connect Conference in California.

I began to claim that the earth is amazing and it really is! No matter where we live, we are delighted with our planet's natural seasonal changes, but at the same time we observe and are worried about all the negative changes that unfortunately are caused by us humans. What you and I have in common is that we want to change the latter. "We are in this together" and it is important to see opportunities and handle the challenges from new perspectives and angles. More research and development is needed in other words...!