If the Celestopea
to build the floating city out of any conventional material, it
would be cost prohibitive, to the tune of billions of dollars.
Fortunately, a new technology was pioneered in the mid 70’s, by
a University of Texas professor named Wolf Hilbertz, that allows
us to create buildings, and even artificial islands, from the
minerals dissolved in sea water. It is similar to the way
shellfish create their shells. This process is called by various
names: Seament, Seacrete and Sea Cement being chief among them.
Everyone knows there is salt dissolved in seawater. You cannot
see it in the water but you can taste it. If you put salt water
in a pan and boil it away, you can see the solid salt that
remains behind in the pan. In addition to salt, there are 56
other minerals dissolved in seawater including gold, silver and
of great importance to us, calcium carbonate.
Calcium carbonate is the principal mineral from which shellfish
create their shells. Through a process not yet completely
understood, they are able to extract the calcium carbonate and
other minerals out of solution from seawater and shape the
minerals into the exact forms, colors and patterns we see in
In the mid 70’s Professor Hilbertz was able to somewhat
duplicate the techniques of the shellfish. When he ran a small
electrical current through wire mesh immersed in the ocean, he
discovered the minerals dissolved in the seawater, principally
calcium carbonate, would accretiate onto the wire. The stronger
the electrical current, the more rapidly the minerals
accretiated. Using a minimal current he was able to create a
wall of calcium carbonate, one-inch thick, in just a few months.
The resulting wall was structurally stronger and lighter than
reinforced concrete. He went on from his original experiments to
create some large structures using the Seament process.
How is this possible? In the ocean, the mineral calcium
carbonate has electrically positive charged ions. Any electrical
current, whether it be on land or sea, consists of the flow of
ions from a positive point to a negative point. Opposites
attract. When metal wire mesh is immersed in seawater, external
electrical sources can be attached, which creates an electrical
flow where the wire mesh becomes a negative cathode. Ions of
calcium combine with ions of carbonate in the seawater to form
positive ions of calcium carbonate, which is attracted to the
negative cathode of the wire mesh and deposited on the mesh as a
solid. As long as the external electrical current is maintained,
calcium carbonate and traces of other minerals, from the
seawater, will continue to accretiate and thicken on the wire
mesh indefinitely. One kilowatt hour of electricity, running
through the wire mesh, will extract 4.2 pounds of calcium
carbonate out of the seawater and deposit it onto the wire mesh
as a solid.
Seament is superior in every way to conventional concrete. It
helps the environment by not needing all of the ingredients of
traditional concrete. There is no sand, aggregate or endless
bags of cement required. Actual Seament creations of Professor
Hilbertz demonstrated that Seament is both stronger and lighter
than standard concrete. Seament created in 6 weeks, on ½" wire
mesh, has a breaking strength of 4267 psi, which is 20% stronger
than normal concrete. If it is deposited for longer periods, it
produces an even stronger Seament, with breaking strengths up to
8000 psi obtained after 1 year!
The amount of electrical current required to cause Seament to
accretiate on the wire mesh is very low. Only thirty amps at six
volts is needed to form a current density of 1.3 milli-amps per
square inch and create a one inch thickness of Seament in
approximately 6 weeks. For more rapid deposition of calcium
carbonate onto the wire mesh, current densities as high as
50,000 milli-amps per square foot can be used, but the greater
the current density, the weaker the Seament.
Professor Hilbertz perfected the accretiation of Seament down to
exact formulas. 189 milli-amps of current density through a ½
inch wire mesh will accretiate 1/10th of an inch of Seament in
170 hours. This is an accretiation rate of .0005 inches per
hour. It takes three weeks, at that current density, to fill the
½ inch gaps in the wire mesh. A kilowatt of electrical power at
12 volts will create a current density of 189 milli-amps per
square foot over a total area of 441 square feet.
Unfortunately, the original work of Professor Hilbertz has not
been followed up on as far as we know. Seament is still in the
experimental stages and still requires more research into
methods of creating very large structures such as Seadomes. This
is why, in the initial phases of the Celestopea ProjectTM, all
of the Seadomes are built with ferrocement. This is a proven
technology that has been used to build boats for over 30 years.
By employing ferrocement to build the first Seadomes, the
project is not delayed waiting for Seament technology to be
perfected. Ferrocement is a unique substance in itself. If built
correctly, it is inexpensive, will not rust, rot or corrode,
it's fireproof, Toredo worm proof and can be built from
materials found anywhere in the world.
As the project goes forth with ferrocement domes, we will be
continuing the work of Professor Hilbertz with our own Seament
experiments, such as the ones that are currently being conducted
in Humbolt Bay, California. Not only do we aspire to perfect
techniques for creating large structures including artificial
islands, but we also want to discover just how the shellfish do
it. When we can duplicate nature's seashell miracles, then we
can create Seadomes in intricate architectural patterns and
brilliant color designs without wire mesh or other man-made
"Before every great person there was a great dream and
before every storied marvel of art or magnificent edifice of
grandeur there was a stirring ethereal vision of the wonder and
beauty that was to be. Greatness always begins with simplicity,
even as an unstoppable flood begins with a single drop of rain.
So too, the towering patriarchs of the ancient forest, who
commune each night with the twinkling stars, began as tiny seeds
quietly buried in soft obscurity beneath the nurturing sod of
Mother Earth. And your cascading avalanche of breath-taking
vision and surpassing power begins with a single snowflake of a
~ Embrosewyn Tazkuvel, "22 Steps to the Light of Your Soul"