Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Synthetic Chemistry, a Foundational Technology

The purpose of this blog is primarily to get into contact with others interested in and knowledgable about the technologies upon which civilization is founded. One of these technologies is undoubtedly synthetic chemistry. I am interested in discussion of several questions, including:

1. What are the most important five (say) chemicals to begin producing, in terms of value to people, ease of production, and status as precursors of more complex valuable chemicals?

2. Given that most of the world's easily-accessible petroleum has been consumed, and that many of the most important precursors for synthetic chemicals are petrochemicals, are their other sources for precursors to the most important chemicals (e.g., plant simples) and/or other synthetic routes to these important chemicals?

I am also interested in book recommendations. In the case of synthetic chemistry, the bibliography necessary will include necessary modern chemical theory, instruction for practical synthesis (microscale), and, again, information on alternatives to petrochemical precursors.

The few books I have on this topic are geared toward the composition and structure of particular drugs, including May's Chemistry of Synthetic Drugs (5th ed., 1961), G. R. Chatwal's Synthetic Drugs (Himalaya Publishing House, 2006), and K. Misra and R. C. Dubey's Chemistry of Synthetic Drugs (South Asian Publishers, 1994).

The goal of the bibliography is to provide adequate information to allow a group of intelligent laypeople (say, lawyers, philosophers, mathematicians, or computer programmers) to reproduce the technology without assuming any previous knowledge. With technologies such as surgery, this is clearly laughable, but this project exists to test those limits.

3 Comments:

Blogger Shane said...

Wow! this is just the sort of group I've been looking for for a long time! As far as the Synthetic chemistry section goes.. www.cavemanchemistry.com is a good place to start it's a combination chemistry book/history of chemistry/how to manual. good place to start. Also a website called www.echotech.org has released a book called "from amaranth to zai holes" which details various methods of growing food under adverse conditions. you might be interested in that. Timothy Tobiason put out a series of books detailing how to construct many things of a military nature from how to sharpen a stick to how to make nerve gas I guess those could be useful as well.

April 02, 2008 12:43 PM  
Blogger Curator said...

Hi there, thanks for your comments - what got you interested in the end of civilization? Feel free to email me, eschatonawareness@gmail.com.

April 02, 2008 7:05 PM  
Blogger The S.E.E.D. said...

Great Shane!
Caveman Chemistry is just what i was looking for. Downloaded the first half at Scribd.com. Any chance you can upload the rest (or the whole) there?
Also, where can i get "Amaranth to zai holes"?

I'm interested in 2012 and assuming, based on extensive research, that it will be an Eschaton event [though i never heard of the term before today].
People interested in 2012 tend to underestimate how bad it will likely be. If there are people serious in rebuilding after TEOTWAWKI, i think i can a bunch of data and insights that can really help, if not prove essential. I've basically been preparing for this my whole life.

June 26, 2011 12:50 AM  

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