X-Message-Number: 20164
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 00:35:43 -0400
From: "Stephen W. Bridge" <>
Subject: Carbon outputs of freeze tanks?

From Steve Bridge
In response to:    

>Message #20150
>Subject: Carbon outputs of freeze tanks?
>Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 12:38:10 +1000
>Greetings fellow cryonauts,
>I suspect I'm about to get dragged into a bit of a debate following a post
>sent to another list about the New Scientist comp.
>I was confronted with this response :
>       "Even if cryonics had a hope in hell of working, one wonders how
>       freezers are powered and the carbon output or radioactive waste you
>       would generate over a deathtime (opposite of lifetime?)."
>Can anyone answer this for me please?

I am always amazed at the sneering way these questions are often put.  The
question itself is a reasonable thing to ask.  What is stupid is the
assumption that the answer must be something really bad.  

Cryonics dewars (the tanks which hold the patients) are some of the least
polluting devices of modern technology.  For many purposes in today's
society, nitrogen is taken from the air and liquified (-196 degrees C or
-320 degrees F).  It is relatively inexpensive for us to purchase some of
that liquid nitrogen for cryonics use.  The patients are kept immersed in
the liquid nitrogen, which slowly evaporates back into the air that it came
from.  The patients cannot be kept in a sealed tank because the pressure of
the evaporating nitrogen would burst any seal.

No electricity is required to keep the patients frozen.  The liquid is that
temperature as long as it is a liquid.  No carbon output; no radioactive

That said, of course the liquid nitrogen manufacturing plant does require
electricity to liquify the nitrogen (and oxygen and other gases from the
air around us).  And the more electricity that the society in general uses
creates the problem of carbon output or radioactive waste, depending on the
source of the electricity.  However, the amount of nitrogen being used by
cryonics is a minuscule fragment (certainly less than one-millionth,
probably less than one-trillionth) of that being used by microchip
companies, university researchers, and many other users of cryogenic
technology.  Cryonics is one of the LEAST polluting industries around.

Steve Bridge

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