Friday, June 26, 2009

Special coolants: Coolanols

The word Coolanol is applied as a trade name for certain industrial silicate esters (tetraalkoxysilanes) that are used as coolants and also as heat and power transfer fluids, dielectric and hydraulic fluids, lubricants and for electrical and electronic equipments. The Monsanto Chemical Company and Exxon Mobil market silicate esters under various trade names. Coolanol names are typically composed of the noun Cooloanol followed by a short numerical or alphanumerical code, for example Coolanol 35 or Coolanol OS59.

[1] M. Alagar and V. Krishnasamy: Preparation and Characterisation of Tetraalkoxysilanes. Hungarian Journal of Industrial Chemistry 1987, 15, pp. 453-468. This article reports tetraalkoxysilane (including compounds with with linear and branched alkoxy groups with three to twelve carbon atoms: propoxy to dodecoxy) properties such as density, refractive index, viscosity, surface tension, thermal expansion, specific heat, infrared range, oxidation stability, decomposition temperature, breakdown voltage and thermal conductivity. Some of these properties are compared with those of silicones and Coolanols of Monsanto Chemicals, USA.
[2] Coolanol silicate esters: Exxon Mobil Brochure

English: grassoline • German: Grasolin

Since the translation of the English word gasoline into German is Gasolin, the English noun grassoline should be translated into German as Grasolin. This word has not been found in the Kraftstoff or Biokraftstoff context in the German literature during a recent search. Should we look for Grassolin or Graßolin?

English-German vocabulary
fuel Kraftstoff, m.; also: Brennstoff or Treibstoff
biofuel Biokraftstoff, m.
gasoline Gasolin, n.
grassoline Grasolin, n.
grass Gras, n.

Grassoline instead of gasoline

Gasoline is a fuel based on mineral oil, a limited resource. Grassoline, based on renewable resources, is a second-generation biofuel made from the inedible parts of plants, in contrast to first-generation biofuels made from edible biomass. A typical source for grassoline is the fast-growing switchgrass. The noun grassoline, rhyming with gasoline, indicates the grassy or ‘green’ origin of this type of biofuel. Get ready to watch out (or smell out) for the nearest grassoline station on your next drive!

George W. Huber and Bruce E. Dale: Grassoline at the Pump. Scientific American, July 2009, 301 (1), pp. 52-59.
Link: Grassoline: Biofuels Beyond Corn.

Further interesting links
Noun: grassoline
Biofuels: Switchgrass harvest for grassoline plant
Development of Cellulosic Biofuels: video lecture

Monday, June 1, 2009

The nouns count, number and numeral

The noun count often refers to the action or process of counting, but can also mean the quantity of something being counted or measured, as, for example, in the terms particle count or body count. A numeral is a symbol that denotes the result of a count—irrespective of what has been counted. The noun number often applies within either context. For example, the chemical term oxidation number can mean the numerical equivalent (formal charge count in an atom) of an oxidation state or the symbol, normally a Roman numeral, that expresses an oxidation state. Further, the word number is often used in an identifier contex, such as in the terms account number, social security number, and RTECS number (Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances number). Such identification numbers may include non-numerals and sometimes are composed completely from non-numerals (letters and punctuation marks).
The distinction between count and number can be important in avoiding ambiguities. In computer programming, it is a good practice to enhance program readability and testing by distinguishing between count and number variables, for example, by using prefixes cnt and n in variable names. A count variable dynamically counts something during program execution, where as a number variable holds an assigned numerical value.
The distinction between number and numeral is critical in separating an actual quantity from its notational representations. The same number can be expressed in different numeral systems—positional as well as nonpositional numeral systems [1].

References and Links
[1] Christopher Hollings: An Analysis of Nonpositional Numeral Systems. The Mathematical Intelligencer, Spring 2009, 31 (2), pp. 15-23.
[2] Karl Menninger: Number Words and Number Symbols - A Cultural History of Numbers.
[3] Encyclopedia Britannica/numeral system