Imagine if there was an organic and environmentally safe "vaccine" preventing the spread of devastating bushfires that grow increasingly more out of control.
Well, imagine no longer thanks to the work, and some happenstance from Stanford University's Eric Appel.
This funny goo actually started out in the medical field as a means of injecting patients with more potent drugs that can sit and slowly disperse into the body for over a year instead of repeated injections.
Appel's brother in law is a former fire prevention officer who recommended trying the gel in a different manner, as a powerful fire retardant filled with the red substance dropped from planes to hamper the spread of wildfires.
The issue with the dropping of fire retardants from planes is that it is painting the area with a wide brush, so to speak, and the retardants are victim to the whims of nature such as wind and rain. The makeup of these retardants, mostly from a crude type of salt ammonium polyphosphate, binds to vegetation and during intense heat will turn to water.
Great for fighting fires but no so good for preventing them.
That is until the delivery vehicle has been upgraded to create a longer-term dispersion method much like the medicine in the body it was originally designed for.
Eric Appel provided a great video of the goo in action compared to regular untreated grass.
Our new retardant materials can withstand weathering and exposure to create a protective barrier that can last throughout the peak fire season. Grass left untreated rapidly burns, while treated grass doesn't. These burns were conducted on a hot day with 100% prob. of ignition. https://t.co/IKItu15QKc pic.twitter.com/ewiBDsHZ8e— Eric A. Appel (@AppelGroup) September 30, 2019
The most common query when it comes to the gel is its ingredients which are surprisingly environmentally friendly. The fundamental ingredient is cellulose polymers produced from plant material and colloidal silica particles, essentially a manmade type of sand.
The first trial is set to take place in California, with the arid parts experiencing up to 300,000 fires and devastating damage to property and infrastructure like clockwork.
We are excited to see the validity of this "fire vaccine" and very interested to wtiness its application in Australia should the trial be a success.
This is an announcement worth sharing, so tag your show your friends as we thrust deeper into the unknown...