Tech

Aluminum Extraction – Once an extremely rare and valuable metal




20 times more efficient to recycle aluminum. Almost 31% of aluminum production is recycled aluminum.

of course this doesn’t even compare to steel which is almost entirely recycled. Each ton of steel recycled saves 63% of a ton of coal, which would otherwise be used to remove oxygen from the iron ore. Steel is usually made at two plants, with blast and crucible furnaces (and often then to a third plant to be cast). Recycling skips the first (less efficient, much dirtier, more expensive) plant entirely.

One thing I’m curious about is in the film they showed them dumping byproduct from the process in some man-made reservoir “protected” by a plastic underlay.

I wonder how harmful that actually is to the environment. They sort of just sidestepped it.

While both are environmental threats, fracking is in a league of its own. They’re forcing a sludge into the ground, through (sometimes several) water tables. This by itself is bad, but it can cause earthquakes, change sheer pressures, and just generally screw with the local geology.

Even assuming the cementing is effective at preventing any groundwater contamination, the drilling companies dump the recovered toxic fluid somewhere, and it ends up back in the ground water eventually.

I don’t necessarily think fracking should be stopped, but posting a propaganda video produced by an oil company as proof that it’s safe or enviromentally friendly is laughable.

Most wellbore cement jobs are defective. In the first place, it’s probably impossible to create a leak proof cement job. Pressurized water will always find a way. Even if it were possible to make a leak proof wellbore lining, it would be so prohibitively expensive that no for-profit corporation would actually do a proper job.

We’re going to end up with a decade of cheap natural gas, followed by a lifetime of undrinkable water because trying to clean aquifers after they have been polluted is an exercise in futility.




Let’s assume everything goes perfectly during production. After the well is abandoned and your company goes out of business or is bought out by incompetents (e.g. Halliburton), who is going to maintain all of these abandoned wells and make sure that there isn’t fracking chemicals leaking into aquifers? Earthquakes could dramatically alter groundwater pressure and could cause the cement lining to fail.

Beyond monitoring pressure, what other quality assurance are you doing to ensure that the cement lining has been done properly?

I really don’t think you’d like paying $8 a gallon had it not been for stimulation. Enjoy the low gas prices until oil companies manipulate it back to $110 a barrel. It is the end of the year and they are getting their tax break.

This assumes the primacy of extracting and burning as much oil as possible and maintaining the lowest possible gasoline prices. Many modern countries get along fine with $8 gasoline and we’d be better served to stop externalizing the costs of the fossil fuel industry.




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