Is Gaia becoming Thanatia, a resource exhausted planet? For how long can our high-tech society be sustained in the light of declining mineral ore grades, heavy dependence on un-recycled critical metals and accelerated material dispersion? These are all root causes of future disruptions that need to be addressed today.
This book presents a cradle-to-cradle view of the Earth's abiotic resources through a novel and rigorous approach based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics: heat dissipates and materials deteriorate and disperse. Quality is irreversibly lost. This allows for the assessment of such depletion and can be used to estimate the year where production of the main mineral commodities could reach its zenith. By postulating Thanatia, one acquires a sense of destiny and a concern for a unified global management of the planet's abiotic resource endowment.
The book covers the core aspects of geology, geochemistry, mining, metallurgy, economics, the environment, thermodynamics and thermochemistry. It is supported by comprehensive databases related to mineral resources, including detailed compositions of the Earth's layers, thermochemical properties of over 300 substances, historical energy and mineral resource inventories, energy consumption and environmental impacts in the mining and metallurgical sector and world recycling rates of commodities.
Readership: Thermodynamicists, geologists, economists, policy makers, and mining, environmental and chemical engineers.About the Author:
Antonio Valero Capilla is Chair in Thermal Systems at University of Zaragoza (since 1986). His main contributions are in Thermoeconomics — General Theory of Exergy Saving, Diagnosis of Complex Energy Plants — and Exergoecology, applied to evaluate the Exergy of Resources of the Earth, including Physical Hydronomics which provides the physical and economic costs of water streams, and Physical Geonomics from which Thanatia is derived. He has authored over 200 publications in research journals, books and conference papers and has directed more than 30 PhD students. Prof Valero is Director General of CIRCE, the Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption composed of 200 researchers devoted to Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Systems and Power Plants Optimisation. The Centre has participated in more than 50 European Union projects. He was formerly Spanish National Manager for the Energy R&D Plan and Spanish Representative at the European Commission for the 7th R&D Framework Programme in Energy. He is the winner of the ASME James Harry Potter Gold Medal Award'96 and is an ASME fellow.
Alicia Valero Delgado is currently head of the department of Industrial Ecology and Resource Efficiency at the Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption (CIRCE) and a lecturer at the University of Zaragoza in the Mechanical Engineering Department, a post she has occupied since 2007. Her more than ten years research activity has been focused on the exergy evaluation of the mineral endowment on Earth, for which she has received three international awards. She studied chemical engineering at the University of Zaragoza finishing her education at the Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse and the TU Berlin. Shortly afterwards, she became a junior researcher at Siemens Power Generation in Berlin and a consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (Madrid). She entered the Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption (CIRCE) in 2003 and finished her PhD in 2008 with a research stay at the British Geological Survey. In addition, she is the author or co-author of 30 publications in international journals and book chapters and over 50 international conference papers, all of which relate to the analysis and optimisation of energy and the use of raw materials.
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