After studying the floating vegetation islands of the Uru tribe , the Bottle Island in Mexico, natural ocurring floating vegetation patches, and the modular island, i would like to postulate the principle of a “buoyancy injector” for floating island building, and suggest the need to investigate a machine that produces bouyancy in large amount in small closed units from glass, plastic, or similar inert materials in form of little spheres that can be injected below a existing island to lift it higher out of the water.
Those of us who has seen the episode of “rescuing a boat by injecting ping-pong balls into it” from mythbusters have more or less the idea how this works.
You would start with a floating geo tissue on the surface – inject balls under it to lift it above the surface – throw steel mats on it – spray some shotcrete over it – now you can step on it – get some vegetation like mangroves – their roots go down to unite the balls and keep them united – when buildings on the island starts to sink down like venice – inject more buoyancy trough a well that you drive trough the ball vegetation matrix.
Anybody who has seen a glass bottle or light bulb factory knows the incredible speed and low cost how such injectable floating units can be produced – from abundant cheap raw materials like sand – waste plastic etc – a production of hundreds of tons of displacement per hour would be a small industrial facility. Keep it working 24 hours a day – a island would grow quite quickly and constantly.
I’m looking at subsurface rafts and floating bubbles. It may be possible attach bouys and netting to mangrove like plants add plastic below to contain fertilizer and create afloating island that way. It would not have a solid surface but it would support some croping systems while damping waves. A sea stead with walk ways sheltered in the middle of this green reef would be protected from the waves. The green reef would be many meters across. A very wide floating, living breakwall.
I believe there was once a floating forest with several species of tree but their extinct today. Lepidendron and Sigillaria species. These fossels all have hollow vegetative roots for bouyancy and I suspect they interlocked for stability. I have a paper on it on a creationist web site. This is what we think it may have looked like.
Even if they didn’t exist they could some day given genetic engineering. However I can see how they may be recreated using basic engineering. Living systems as the source of torsion and resilincy modern platics as the source of tension and bouyancy.
For everyone’s information I was involved with the original Oceania Project in a small way. I’m also in several space organisations. And I have a Degree in sustainable Development, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy,water and sewerage.
I think this is a great idea. A few minutes ago I was day dreaming about an AUV that harvests the floatation balls from kelp forrests.
It’s not an issue to contain them as the plastic bottle display in mexico demonstrated. From a safety standpoint: I’m attracted to life preservers or foam blocks so that drowning is virtually impossible.
Those considerations are secondary however, and I think your idea has all the merits of a great solution to the first consideration: How can we make our ship float?
I want it:
Your solution screams: we can do this with materials we harvest from the ocean. Maybe we’ll be blowing bubbles in thermoplastic, or aerating some sort of foam? Aren’t ping pong balls made from plant cellulose?
Ping pong balls are cheap: why don’t you measure their displacement and do a cost estimate for what it would take to float 12 people?