type of chemical element or mass of such an element that typically is lustrous, opaque, malleable, and can conduct heat and electricity
wade through streambeds, sifting through large amounts of debris by hand with a pan or simple tools, searching for high-density tantalite. It washes large amounts of debris into streams, disturbing stream banks, causing erosion and harming ecologically important riparian plant communities.
Entire mountaintops are blasted off, and the waste is dumed into adjacent valleys. Used for coal in the Appalacian Mnts. Destroys habitat because of debris, pollutes, and clogs streams and rivers
Using large vacuum-cleaner-like hydraulic dredges, miners collect sand and gravel from beneath the sea.
Suflur is extracted from salt deposits in the Gulf of Mexico. Over 1.5 trillion are on the Pacific floor, but the difficulty of mining them kept their extraction uneconomical so far
Require that mining companies “reclaim” vegetation atop surface=mined sotes. Also, post bonds to cover reclamation to cover reclamation before mining is approved. Impacts of mining can be severe and long-lasting though so it’s not very effective.
1872 Mining Law
encourages propecting for minerals on federally owned land by allowing any U.S. citizen to stake a claim on any plot of public land and hen patent the claim for just a few dollars an acre.
Process ore to get metals out
make steal by adding carbon to iron by smelting most methods are water and energy intensive, emit air pollution.
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Soil and water can be polluted by the left over ore which may have heavy metals and chemicals present
a mineral or grouping of minerals from which we extract metals
Fossil fuels, the sun, nuclear power, solar radiation, hydrolics, biomass
highly combustibles substances formed from the remains of organisms from past geological ages. 3 used most widely- oil, coal and natural gas
forms from organic matter, hard and blackish, coal is the most abundant fossil fuel on Earth. It generates 1/2 electricity in US. *Peat- bad kind of coal (organic material that is near the surface still and wet) Strip mining and subsurface mining.
Fastest growing fossil fuel, 1/4 o global commercial energ consumption. Consists primarily of mathane. Biogenic gas- organic matter by bacteria. Thermo- compression and heat deep underground.
Greatest in Russia and Middle East and US-lead the world in gas production and gas consumption
In Saudi Arabia, US, & Russia mostly, the more you take out of an area, the harder it is to get out making it more expensive.
Hubbert’s Peak- geologist M. Kind Hubbert predicted US oil production would peak around 1970 and then decline. (40 yrs.
until we have none left)
Oil sands or tar sands
moist sand and clay containing 1-20% bitumen, removed by strip mining, E Venezuela and NE Alberta
sedimentary rock filled with kerogen, mined with strip mines or subsurface mines, 40% global reserves in US
seafloor sediments, ice-like solids, methane embedded in crystal lattice of water molecules
Uses of metals
Salt in food, sand in gravel, lead in ink, nickel in batteries etc.
heavy machinery removes the overlying soil and rock (overburden), resource is then extracted, each strip then filled with the overburden that has been removed. Commonly used for coal, sand, gravel, and oil sands.
It destroys natural communities over large areas and can trigger extensive soil erosion, it can also cause acid drainage
shafts are excavated deep into the ground, networks of tunnels are dug or blasted out to follow deposits of the mineral. Miners remove the resource systematically and ship it to the surface. Used for zinc, lead, nickel, tin, gold, copper, uranium, diamonds, phosphate, salt, and potash. Most dangerous form of mining. Dynamite blasts, collapsing shafts and tunnels, inhale toxic fumes and coal dust. It pollutes groundwater and creates black lung disease.
Open Pit mining
Digging a gigantic hole, removing the desired ore along with waste rock that surrounds the ore.
Some are enormous, worlds largest- Bingham Canyon Mine near Salt Lake City, Utah. Habitat loss, Acidic water.
the energy that holds together protons and neutrons within the nucleus of an atom. Converted into thermal energy to generate electricity. From processed and enriched uranium. No greenhouse gas emissions, less air pollution then fossil fuels. Less accidents when you mine.
Top producers & consumers of coal, oil and natural gas
Oil- Saudi Arabia, Iran IraqNatural Gas- Russia, Iran, QatarCoal- US, Russia, China
Electricity in a power plant
Everything heats up water, the turbine turnsthe water, the water is condensed and goes to a cooling tower, reheats water
-Valmy, Tracy, and Fort Churchill power stations produced 43% of the electricity provided to the company’s 361,000 electic customers-Remaining electricity delivered from the states
Reasons for seeking energy alternatives
Running out of fossil fuels, safer/less contaminating ways of energy uses
Major sources of renewable energy
biomass, hydroelectic, solar, wind, etc.
Converted to biopower through combustion. From animal and plant matter. The stuff that we burn. 2 liquid kinds-ethanol and gas engines. No carbon emissions, a lot of land use. Co-firing: when the add biomass to coal plants
we use kinetic energy of moving water to turn turbines and generate electricity.
Comes from impounding water in reservoirs behind concrete dams that block the flow of river water. Renewable as long as water isn’t overdrawn form river system, power is clean: no greenhouse gas emissions. Numerous disruptive ecological effects to riparian environments.
Passive– designs buildings to maximize capture of sunlight in winter, but keep buildings cool in the summerActive- uses technological devices to focus, move, or store solar energy. Renewable, local control, solar cookers. Not everywhere is sunny enough, up-front investment.
Photovaltalic cells generate electricity directly
electrons move from phosphorous side of silicon plate to boron side, creating electric current.
Renewable, no emissions, local, low cost. Not everywhere is windy enough, far from pop., object to aesthetics, blades kill animals, high start-up cost. Generates the wind’s kinetic energy into electrical energy.
form of renewable energy that doesn’t originate from the sun, but generated deep within the Earth. Geothermal power plants use the energy of naturally heated water and dtream for firect heating and to turn turbines and create electricity.