Category Archives: Manufacturing & Industrial Heat

Fossil-fueled industrial heat hard to impossible to replace with renewables

Preface. Cement, steel, glass, bricks, ceramics, chemicals, and much more depend on fossil-fueled high heat (up to 3200 F) to make. Except for the electric-arc furnace to recycle existing steel, there aren’t any renewable ways to make cement, other metals, … Continue reading

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Charcoal for the high heat needed in manufacturing after peak oil

Preface. De Decker (2011) writes: “A large share of energy consumed worldwide is by heat. Cooking, space heating and water heating dominate domestic energy consumption. In the UK, these activities account for 85% of domestic energy use, in Europe for … Continue reading

Posted in Manufacturing & Industrial Heat, Peak Biofuels, Wood | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Foreign Policy: The limits of clean energy

Preface. This article appeared in the magazine Foreign Policy. Some of the points made are: Renewables to power the world would require 34 million metric tons of copper, 40 million tons of lead, 50 million tons of zinc, 162 million … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Consumption, Mining, Peak Lithium | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Peak Stainless Steel

Steel and nickel aren’t on the critical mineral list, but nickel ought to be, since this study shows that there is a significant risk that stainless steel production will reach its maximum capacity around 2055 because of declining nickel production, … Continue reading

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Can concentrated solar power be used to generate industrial process heat?

Preface. The bright future of solar thermal powered factories, makes some important points about using concentrated solar power to generate heat: “…A large share of energy consumed worldwide is by heat. Cooking, space heating and water heating dominate domestic energy … Continue reading

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Going 100% renewable power means a lot of dirty mining

Preface. Everyone talks about oil spills, but what about the dirty mining that will have a huge polluting footprint on the earth, and potentially destroy the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery among other side-effects? Renewables aren’t cleaner and greener than … Continue reading

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High-Tech can’t last: limited essential elements with limited lifespans

There are 17 rare earth elements in the periodic table. About nine of those elements go into every iPhone sold… and if China were suddenly to disappear from a map tomorrow, Apple would lose about 90% of those elements.  Source: … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Energy, Cascading Failure, Elements: Critical, Elements: Rare Earth, Microchips and computers, Supply Chains | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rare: The High-Stakes Race to Satisfy Our Need for the Scarcest Metals on Earth by Keith Veronese

Preface.  Capitalism believes there’s a solution for everything due to Man’s Inventive Brain, but when it comes to getting metals out of the earth, there are some very serious limitations.  In parts per billion, there’s only 4 of platinum, 20 … Continue reading

Posted in Elements: Critical, Elements: Platinum Group, Elements: Precious, Elements: Rare Earth, Infrastructure, Mining, Peak Resources | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Mining: Waste, Pollution, Destruction from Ugo Bardi’s “Extracted”

Preface. I’ve reworded/shortened some of the wording at times from this excellent book. Here are 7 other posts from this great book: Mining: Waste, Pollution, Destruction Ugo Bardi predictions of the future Minerals and War Minerals: Natural gas Minerals: Coal … Continue reading

Posted in Chemicals, Coal Ash, Mercury, Mining, Nuclear, Pollution, Ugo Bardi | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Minerals & Energy from Ugo Bardi’s “Extracted”

Preface. This is a small section of Ugo Bardi’s excellent book “Extracted”. His most important observation is that: “The limits to mineral extraction are not limits of quantity; they are limits of energy. Extracting minerals takes energy, and the more … Continue reading

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