Published on January 16, 2008
Earth Resources: Earth Resources Mineral Resources: Mineral Resources Building Stone, Sand, Gravel, Limestone Non-metallic Minerals Sulfur, Gypsum, Coal, Barite, Salt, Clay, Feldspar, Gem Minerals, Abrasives, Borax, Lime, Magnesia, Potash, Phosphates, Silica, Fluorite, Asbestos, Mica Metallic Minerals Ferrous: Iron and Steel, Cobalt, Nickel Metallic Minerals Non-ferrous: Copper, Zinc, Tin, Lead, Aluminum, Titanium, Manganese, Magnesium, Mercury, Vanadium, Molybdenum, Tungsten, Silver, Gold, Platinum Energy Resources Fossil Fuels: Coal, Oil, Natural Gas Uranium Geothermal Energy Types of Ore Deposits: Types of Ore Deposits Magmatic Pt, Cr, Fe, Ni, Ti, Diamond Pegmatite Li, Be, U, Rare Earths, Feldspar, Mica, Gems Hydrothermal 600 C: W, Sn 400 C: Au, U, Ag, Co, Mo 200 C: Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb Cool: Hg, As Sedimentary Rocks Fe, Cu, U, Mn, Mg Weathering Secondary Enrichment: Cu, Ni Soils Al, Ni Placer Pt, Au, Sn, Ti, W, Th, Rare Earths U (Fossil), Gems Concentration Factors and Economics: Concentration Factors and Economics Natural Abundance Geologic Processes to Concentrate Element Most involve water Intrinsic Value of Material Cost of Extraction from Earth Gold versus Gravel Prospecting and Exploration: Prospecting and Exploration Satellite and Aerial Photography Remote Sensing Geological Mapping Magnetic Mapping Gravity Mapping Radioactivity Mapping Geochemical Sampling Electrical Sounding Ground-Penetrating Radar Seismic Methods Reflection - Detailed but Expensive Refraction - Cheap but Not Detailed Core Sampling and Well Logging Economic Factors in Mining: Economic Factors in Mining Richness of Ore Quantity of Ore Cost of Initial Development Equipment, Excavation, Purchase of Rights Operating Costs: Wages, Taxes, Maintenance, Utilities, Regulation Price of the Product Will Price Go up or down? Life Cycle of a Mine: Life Cycle of a Mine Exploration Development Active Mining Excavation Crushing, Milling, Flotation, Chemical Separation Smelting and Refining Disposal of Waste (Tailings) Shut-down Issues in Mineral Exploitation: Issues in Mineral Exploitation Who Owns (Or Should Own) Minerals? Landowner, Discoverer, Government Unclaimed Areas: Sea Floor, Antarctica Who Controls Access for Exploration? Remote Sensing vs Privacy Problems of Mining: Problems of Mining Safety Mine Wastes Pollution Dust Noise Sulfur (H2SO4) Acid Rain Acid Runoff Dissolved Metals (Fe, Cu, Zn, As...) Environmental Problems Exploration Construction and Operation Economic Impact "Boom and Bust" Cycles Geothermal Energy: A Free Lunch?: Geothermal Energy: A Free Lunch? Environmental Problems of Geothermal Energy It is Finite Heat Sources Can Be Exhausted (Geysers, California) Sulfur Emissions Disposal of Mineralized Brines Technical Problems of Geothermal Energy Corrosion Mineral Deposition in Pipes Non-Productive gases (Carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) Low Temperatures Low Thermodynamic Efficiency Thermodynamic Efficiency: Thermodynamic Efficiency Eff. = (Ti - Tf)/Ti T = Degrees Kelvin = Degrees C + 273 Ti = initial temperature Tf = final temperature Thermodynamic Efficiency: Thermodynamic Efficiency Automobile Engine Ti = 1200 C = 1473 K Tf = 500 C = 773 K Eff = (1473 - 773)/1473 = 48% Typical Steam Power Plant Ti = 700 C = 973 K Tf = 200 C = 473 K Eff = (973 - 473)/973 = 51% Thermodynamic Efficiency: Thermodynamic Efficiency Geothermal Power Plant Ti = 150 C = 423 K Tf = 80 C = 353 Eff = (423 - 353)/423 = 17% Actual achieved efficiencies Automobile on Highway: about 5% Geothermal Plant: 5% or So, Sometimes less than 1% Where the Oil Is: Where the Oil Is The Geography of Oil: The Geography of Oil Hubbert Curves: Hubbert Curves In 1956, Oil geologist M. King Hubbert noted that rates of oil production follow a bell-shaped curve. Cumulative production follows a slanting S- curve Production lags discovery by about ten years. Hubbert’s 1956 Prediction: Hubbert’s 1956 Prediction Where We Stand Today: Where We Stand Today What if We Find More Oil?: What if We Find More Oil? Even a huge increase in total oil has very little effect on the peak and decline of production. Why? We waste most of it on inefficient uses. One Solution: Limit Production: One Solution: Limit Production Is There a Lot More Undiscovered Oil?: Is There a Lot More Undiscovered Oil? 80 per cent of oil being produced today is from fields discovered before 1973. In the 1990's oil discoveries averaged about seven billion barrels of oil a year, only one third of usage. The discovery rate of multi-billion barrel fields has been declining since the 1940's, that of giant (500-million barrel) fields since the 1960's. In 1938, fields with more than 10 million barrels made up 19% of all new discoveries, but by 1948 the proportion had dropped to only 3%. Oil Discovery Rates: Oil Discovery Rates Some Relevant Quotes: Some Relevant Quotes The internal-combustion engine used for automobiles is a fragile device compared with other prime movers -- even compared with the internal combustion engines used for diesel- electric locomotives that have been known to go over a million miles without mechanical overhauling. Some Relevant Quotes: Some Relevant Quotes ... the energy-system efficiency of the motor car with petroleum motor fuel is, thus, 5 percent ... no one is proud of this accomplishment -- least of all the automotive-design engineers ... The trouble is, every time the design engineer manages to save a few BTU it is more than spent answering the clamor for softer tires, for radio, for better heaters, more lights, cigarette lighters and possibly even air conditioning. Some Relevant Quotes: Some Relevant Quotes Histories written a few centuries hence may describe the United States as a nation of such extraordinary technologic virility that we succeeded in finding ways of dissipating our natural wealth far more rapidly than any other nation. At any rate, we are having a wonderful time doing it. From the discussions in the earlier chapters of this book it is clear that the problem of energy for the United States is not one of the dim future. It is upon us now. Some Relevant Quotes: Some Relevant Quotes Our imports of petroleum are small but each year they become larger. By 1960 they are likely to be quite substantial. By 1970 they will almost certainly be huge -- if foreign oil is still available then in sufficient quantity... This tiny period of earth's life, when we are consuming its stored riches, is nearly over ... Fortunately for us there is still time for fundamental research [on alternative energy sources]. But not too much time. Some Relevant Quotes: Source: Some Relevant Quotes: Source Eugene Ayres and Charles A Scarlott, 1952; Energy Sources -- The Wealth of the World, McGraw-Hill, 344p. Petroleum is a Syllogism: Petroleum is a Syllogism There is a finite amount of it in the world We are using it and not replacing it Therefore we will eventually run out of it Any of this not clear? The End of Cheap Oil: The End of Cheap Oil Known petroleum can last at least a couple of centuries more, but… It only flows through the rocks so fast. No amount of drilling will make it flow faster, and careless drilling can shorten the lifetime of an oil field. Sometime in the 21st century, global demand will outpace production capacity and… Oil will go to the highest bidder. Some Final Thoughts: Some Final Thoughts What have you personally done to deserve access to petroleum at any price? If you think energy is such a scam, get up off your butt and do something about it. If you think there is undiscovered oil out there, study geology and engineering and find it! If you think synthetic oil is the answer, major in chemistry and make it happen. If you think the answer is alternative energy sources, major in physics and engineering and develop them. Don’t major in Plain Vanilla Studies and then complain when other people don’t provide you with energy for free.