We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

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We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed May 04, 2022 6:45 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2022/0504.shtml

Nickel was once so cheap that it was used to mint coins (hence the US 5-cent piece being called "a nickel").

These days however, its uses are many and varied. Much of our modern technology (everything from jet engines to EV batteries) is heavily reliant on this element and that's driving prices up.

So what happens when we've mined all the economically accessible ore and there's no more nickel to be had?

In fact, how many other elements are now reaching the point of exhaustion in terms of our ability to pluck them from the ground?

Could we end up with some significant hurdles to overcome if we're to continue developing our technological world when we run out of these elements?
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Re: We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

Postby Hiro Protagonist » Wed May 04, 2022 7:39 am

Maybe invest in asteroid mining futures instead.
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Re: We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

Postby hagfish » Wed May 04, 2022 9:06 am

The materials required for one EV-car battery could make 100 eBike-sized batteries... And for such precious commodities as water: warfare.
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Re: We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

Postby Perry » Wed May 04, 2022 9:26 am

Bruce wrote:The real question for today is: how long will it be before we reach the point where there are no more economically viable amounts of raw materials available to meet our needs and when we get to that point, what will we do?
I suppose we could get very serious about re-cycling, instead of the present token efforts?
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Re: We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

Postby phord » Wed May 04, 2022 10:25 am

Future Tanks Could Be Powered by Electricity

Hmmm, this would drive up nickel prices even more.

However, on the bright side, wars could be fought with less CO2 emissions.
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Re: We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

Postby Perry » Wed May 04, 2022 11:08 am

OMG! The mind boggles.

The Greenies going to war?

Image
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Re: We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed May 04, 2022 11:14 am

Perry wrote:OMG! The mind boggles.

The Greenies going to war?

Ah... but the enemy has a secret weapon.

It's called "night time" :)
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Re: We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

Postby Kiwiiano » Wed May 04, 2022 5:44 pm

Perry wrote:
Bruce wrote:The real question for today is: how long will it be before we reach the point where there are no more economically viable amounts of raw materials available to meet our needs and when we get to that point, what will we do?
I suppose we could get very serious about re-cycling, instead of the present token efforts?

Especially as all-to-often it's actually easier to extract elements from recycled products than from the raw ore. The major missing factor is getting plonkers to sort & hand stuff in for recycling than just biffing it in the red bin.
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Re: We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

Postby hagfish » Thu May 05, 2022 8:29 am

Lots of minerals and other resources in Antarctica. China might have ratified the treaty, but they've been very busy down there for many years looking for /checks notes/ 'meteorites'.
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Re: We are running out of stuff (4 May, 2022)

Postby ffirman » Thu May 05, 2022 9:37 am

With the cost of Cobalt and now Nickel, it is very helpful that in the last quarter, nearly half of all the Tesla cars made and sold have neither of those in the battery. For all of their standard range Model 3 and Model Y cars they use LFP now. About 60KwH in the battery as well, so 20% larger than the NCA battery I have in my 2.5 year old Model 3 standard range.
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