Diamonds are forever

Diamonds are forever but ozone is a girl’s best friend

Inventor and entrepreneur Carl Nicholson has revealed details of a new technology which promises to revolutionise the way we combat both global warming and ozone layer depletion in one device. Called RAM for “Reverse Armageddon Machine”, the device extracts carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converts it into diamonds and ozone using solar energy alone. The massively negative carbon footprint of the prototype is mooted to be forty kilograms of carbon removed per megawatt-hour of solar energy, producing four million dollars worth of industrial quality diamonds and over a hundred kilogrammes of eighty percent pure ozone (the other twenty percent being oxygen) every day.

This highly guarded secret will be made public when trials finish next year and he applies for worldwide patents. In the meantime Nicholson says he is working on refinements which will allow the percentage of ozone to be varied from zero to one hundred percent. Sources close to him also suggest that he is on the verge of using the device to produce gem quality diamonds. He won’t comment on this, but it is understood at the moment that this is a much slower and less cost-effective process. He says he is more interested in a deal with the airlines to deliver ozone to depleted areas of the planet and is prepared to use some of the profits from the diamonds to achieve this. He is already in talks with Richard Branston of Maiden Atlantic and Michael O’Flaherty of Bryan Air.

So, is this the philosopher’s stone or the cold fusion of global warming? We asked a few top people in the field what they knew and thought about Nicholson’s claims for RAM. Scientists at MIT, Oregon were sceptical. They say they’ve been working on a similar device, but the ozone yield is much lower and they haven’t been able to produce diamonds at all. They doubt it is possible to create the pressures needed to produce diamonds using the kind of technology the RAM team describes. They are also doubtful about the performance of the catalysts used to convert oxygen to ozone and vice versa. Professor Alan Bentall, of the Cambridge School of Mines said “This is a load of hype to raise the share price before selling out to some diamond mining company.” and went on to add “On the other hand, if there is anything in it [RAM] then it is a serious threat to the diamond industry and worth a great deal of money. I don’t think he [Carl Nicholson] knows the kind of people he is dealing with.” The jury is still out on what Nicholson will do if the technology actually works, but now the Pandora’s box is well and truly open it is only a matter of time before something serious happens.

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