Production rates

The English engineers have described their machine in great detail, so that it's possible to calculate its production. They write:

"For Chlorella-type organisms to grow, the principal requirements are: water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and light. As regards the water, the upper part of the Ancient of Days comprises a dew-still, a cooled surface which could extract sufficient water even from the dry air of the Sinai desert; carbon dioxide and nitrogen are available in the atmosphere, and could be made available to the culture by circulating it through the "beard-hairs" in contact with the air via a semi-permeable membrane; and as for the light, the Zohar makes endless mention of the "cardinal lamp" in the interior of the Ancient One. The other requirement, of course, is energy. Based on a realistic Israelite population of 600 "families" rather than 600 "thousands" - the Hebrew word "ALP" can mean either - we came up with a figure around 500 kilowatts, which is within the capacity of a small modern nuclear reactor. The light source could have been a neutron-pumped laser, and electricity for the control circuits generated thermoelectrically.
In addition to the thick beard-hairs, or circulation coils, there are also "thousands and thousands, myriads and myriads" of tangled black hairs - electrical wiring, for sure.

From drawings and models, like the ones from Fiebag's "Ewigkeitsmaschine" or on Peter Fiebags Homepage we can get the basic dimensions of the construction elements. These elements are:

The dimensions of the important parts are given in the table below for Dale/Sasson's original 5 m machine, and a 1.8m version according to Fiebag:

System "Mouth" "Hairs" "Brain" "Big Sea" "Armies"
5 m high 0,5 m2 12,5 m2 1 m 3000 l 2 x 1770 l
1.8 m 0,065 m2 1,6 m2 36 cm 131 l 2 x 82 l

These are the values I will use for my calculations on the next page.

Population and demand of calories

Dale/Sassoon claim that only 600 families had to be provided with food. Strange, the bible clearly says that "600000 men at foot without the children" had to be provided for. Dale/Sassoon say that is because of a translation error. The hebraic word for "on thousand" is the same as for "family" - a claim I could not verify. Dale/Sassoon give no source for this interpretation, and I talked with several persons knowing old hebraic disagreeing with it, so I am very doubtful. Also the description "600 families without the kids" makes no sense at all. Also, 600 families can not be called "people" by any means. They would not have been able to do the deeds listed in Moses 3. And the structure of Dale/Sassoons family contradicts everything we know of ancient family structures.

Even if there was something true about 600 families we should use a definition common today in Beduine societies. They have at least:

This are at least 10 persons per family, or 6000 persons with 600 families. This also is the minimal number of persons I would call "people".

The next problem with Dale/Sassoon's concept comes with their calculation of calorie consumption. They give for a man 2000 calories, but only 1600 calories for a woman and 900 calories for each child - so they come to an average calorie consumption of 1260 kCal/Person.
I looked into several calorie tables (like Time-Life, "Die richtige Ernährung") and they give even for "medium activities" like house work (and a trek through the desert is harder than that) for a 1.53 m male (man, youth or child is all the same) 2000 kCal, and for a female of the same size 1850 kCal. Even a 1.20 m child needs more than 1200 kCal per day.

If we do not assume that the Israelites were pygmies, and we take a male with 1.60 m, his wife with 1.56 m and the children with 1.20 m each, the average calorie consumption for Dale/Sassoons mini-families is ( 3 x 2200 + 3 x 2000 + 4 x 1200) / 10 = 1740 kCal! This would mean 10.44 Mio kCal per day for 6000 people (the normal family), and we can add about 30% if we assume that a trek through the desert counts as "hard work". Dale/Sassoon give 3.78 Mio. kCal per day, how do they get this value? Well, either they really think that the Israelites were pygmies (man 1.53 m, women and children are below the size of any table I have looked into, at least smaller than 1.40 m for the woman and smaller than 1.20 m for the children), or they give normal sized persons a starvation diet they would not survive 40 years, probably not even 40 days.

Even if we look at the downsized mini population of 3000 persons, with only 1200 grownups, the hunger diet of Dale/Sassoon does not work. If we use a "normal" calorie consumption of normal sized people, we need for this group at least 4.68 Mio. kCal per day, 1 Mio. kCal (about 25%) more than Dale/Sassoon tell their readers.

Algae and calorie value

A bio reactor is no perpetuum mobile which creates something out of nothing. What algae do is to convert water and carbon dioxide to produce sugar and oxygen from that. The following chemical reaction takes place:

6 H2O + 6 CO2 + energy = C6H12O6 + 6 O2

Further reactions also produce proteins and fat, but I will not discuss those reactions here. Since they use more energy per calorie, it even is an advantage for the calculation model.
Unfortunately, plants produce also sugars which cannot be used by our body, the so called poly saccharide like cellulose, from which the plants are made of. Algae like Chlorella and Spirella also produce large amounts of vitamins and protein. Spirella is therefore are called "wonder food". Even NASA is experimenting with them.

Spirella for example is produced on Hawaii in large basins. Dried "super"-algae consists to 72% of for the human body usable carbon hydrates and protein[ 1 ]. Sugar and protein have a calorie value of 4.1 and 4.2 kCal/g, the usable calorie value for those algae is a bit lower, around 3 kCal per gram, because parts of the last 28% consist of not usable or calorie less by products. Still it is three times more effective than other high protein foods like Soya. And this completely without unusable parts like leafs and stems plants have as "by products", and where only a small percentage of the whole plant is edible. In fact a food good for space exploration.

But Dale/Sassoon give 5.5 kCal/g for their algae! Since sugar and protein give only about 4 kCal/g each, the other 28% must deliver as much calories as fat, our most efficient energy source. That is impossible, because those algae are diet food - because of their lack of fat! with this inconvenient fact the manna machine starts to look bad...
There is fat in algae, spirella/chlorella substrates have about 7%, and not the necessary 28%. With this information we can calculate the calorie value backwards: 72 g protein and sugar, taken with 4.15 kCal/g as average, provide 298 kCal, 7 g fat 65,1 kCal, together 363,9 kCal for 100 g, a value well inside the interval of 330-370 kCal/100g I found on the internet. And far far away from the needed 5,5 kCal/g!

To see how much water, carbon dioxide and light the manna machine needs, we need a few more parameters.
From the chemical formula we can calculate the molecular weight of sugar:

Element Atom weight
Hydrogen (H) 1.008
Carbon (C) 12.011
Oxygen (O) 15.999

This is a molecular weight of 180 for sugar. To produce this we need 6 molecules of water, mol weight together 108, and 6 molecules of carbon dioxide, mol weight together 264. Or, to scale it to kilograms, we need for every kg raw bio mass 600 g of water and 1466.7 g of carbon dioxide.

The last point is the energy density. Photo synthesis needs energy in form of light. For each Mol of glucose 2286 Kcal or 9571 kilo-Joule (kJ) are needed, or 5262 kJ for each 100 g.

The production of proteins needs much more energy, so let's stick to the production of sugars to get a low estimate. Now we have enough data do make proper calculations.

[1] Planet Newsletter, Superfood Provision Co. Dec. 1996
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