X-Message-Number: 16450
From: "Brett Bellmore" <>
References: <>
Subject: Re: 16436
Date: Wed, 6 Jun 2001 18:55:43 -0400

" On another note:
 Eugene Leitl on the Extropain list recently said that
 cryonics may become much more difficult because of
 changes in manufacturing methods. Anyone have comments
 on this?"

Well, it's true that liquid nitrogen is amazingly cheap because it's an
industrial byproduct of gas separation. And this could certainly
change. You could look at the percentage of storage expenses accounted for
by LN, and assume that that represented the degree
of vulnerability, but that's an exageration in the long run.

LN expenditure per patient isn't fixed, but is a compromise between
competing values. Portability, LN expenses, capital expenses. Geometric
constraints for small storage facilities, comparable in scale to the
thickness of the insulation, tend to favor high LN expenditures over high
capital expenditures, as each unit of thicker insulation represents a more
than linear increase in expense. (As a first order approximation, anyway.)
When a storage facility becomes large compared to the thickness of the
insulation, added insulation scales more linearly, shifting the equilibrium
towards less LN usage, thicker insulation. LN expenditure also scales as the
square of facility size, while storage capacity scales as the cube.

These general factors mean that LN expenditures per patient should decline
as our patient load increases, offsetting the increase in LN costs. Of
course, the question is when we switch to a new storage technology, such as
a fixed instalation using conventional insulation. It's not like we can make
the transition continuously.

Brett Bellmore

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