18 February 2009

Will need of Rare Earth Metals for Green Energy Encourage Asteroid Mining?

I'm sure many readers will be surprised initially, like I was, that most of our sources of rare Earth metals come from Astroblemes, or asteroid craters. Otherwise, these heavy metals would have migrated to Earths core early in its development. The article below highlights the need for such metals in the new energy economy, which are abundant in Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs), and perhaps on the Moon (per Dennis Wingo's MoonRush).

"Why Sustainable Power is Unsustainable"
New Scientist
http//www.newscien tist.com/article/dn16550-why-sustainable-power-is-unsustainable.html

Renewable energy needs to become a lot more renewable – a theme that emerged at the Financial Times Energy Conference in London this week.

Supratik Guha of IBM told the conference that sales of silicon solar cells are booming, with 2008 being the first year that the silicon wafers for solar cells outstripped those used for microelectronic devices.

But although silicon is the most abundant element in the Earth's crust after oxygen, it makes relatively inefficient cells that struggle to compete with electricity generated from fossil fuels.
And the most advanced solar-cell technologies rely on much rarer materials than silicon.

Rare metal

The efficiency of solar cells is measured as a percentage of light energy they convert to electricity. Silicon solar cells finally reached 25% in late December. But multi-junction solar cells can achieve efficiencies greater than 40%.

Although touted as the future of solar power, those and most other multiple-junction cells owe their performance to the rare metal indium, which is far from abundant. There are fewer than 10 indium-containing minerals, and none present in significant deposits – in total the metal accounts for a paltry 0.25 parts per million of the Earth's crust.

Most of the rare and expensive element is used to manufacture LCD screens, an industry that has driven indium prices to $1000 per kilogram in recent years. Estimates that did not factor in an explosion in indium-containing solar panels reckon we have only a 10 year supply of it left.

If power from the Sun is to become a major source of electricity, solar panels would have to cover huge areas, making an alternative to indium essential.

Precious platinum

The dream of the hydrogen economy faces similar challenges, said Paul Adcock of UK firm Intelligent Energy.

A cheap way to generate hydrogen has so far proved elusive. New approaches, such as using bacterial enzymes to "split" water, have a long way to go before they are commercially viable.

So far, fuel cells are still the most effective way to turn the gas into electricity. But these mostly rely on expensive platinum to catalyse the reaction.

The trouble is, platinum makes indium appear super-abundant. It is present in the Earth's crust at just 0.003 parts per billion and is priced in $ per gram, not per kilogram. Estimates say that, if the 500 million vehicles in use today were fitted with fuel cells, all the world's platinum would be exhausted within 15 years.

Unfortunately platinum-free fuel cells are still a long way from the test track. A nickel-catalysed fuel cell developed at Wuhan University, China, has a maximum output only around 10% of that a platinum catalyst can offer.

A new approach announced yesterday demonstrates that carbon nanotubes could be more effective, as well as cheaper, than platinum. But again it will be many years before platinum-free fuel cells become a commercial prospect.

Renewable energy technologies remain the great hope for the future, and are guaranteed research funds in the short term. But unless a second generation of sustainable energy ideas based on truly sustainable resources is established, the renewable light could be in danger of dimming.

Mark Reiff
------------

According to Moon Rush, even the smaller of the Iron-Nickel NEAs contains more
metals than all that has ever been mined in all of history
. Further, our Moon, riddled with craters from such collisions is likely to be rich in such resources, as well. A single ‘‘Diablo Canyon’’ size impactor would have left between 450 million to 1.77 billion tons
of economically recoverable nickel, iron, cobalt, &=platinum group metals materials, worth around $20 trillion.
Besides Moon Rush, Check out Mining the Sky, High Frontier (O'Neill), and this terrific online source: http://www.permanent.com/

62 comments:

Trailing Male said...

I came across your posting. This is an area that I've been interested in for some time. I'll have to read more of your blog when I get the chance. Meanwhile, here's an interesting follow-up to your posting:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/concern-as-china-clamps-down-on-rare-earth-exports-1855387.html

Istvan said...

This topic is suddenly a lot more interesting now that China is going ahead with its prior plan to cut rare earth exports: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12088195

I think asteroid mining is a fascinating future prospect, and I'm looking into trying to do a cost-analysis given current technologies. The more relevant question is whether the bright lads at SpaceX have already done this math.

Balboa said...

I am an Engineering student at UNCC and we (about 60 scholars) have been designing a program to mine NEAs and asteroids in the Asteroid Belt. This is the main project for this particular course/semester. It is very possible and is becoming more and more a reality. The only factors prohibiting Asteroid Mining from existing is the lack of culture in space, and the lack of funders to initiate the program. We have found annual profits that extend past the trillion dollar mark. The semester is about over and we have a book to explain our program. This was a fun project. If i had found this site sooner I could have referenced it in the book.

Keallon Enloe said...

I was working in woodville tx we hit a meteor about size of house, its gold platinum zinc copper iron what ever co is think 7/8s gold iv got samples. Cant get nobody even notice the crap. 5 years still nothing not a word.

Keallon Enloe said...

Maybe send sample to Some universitys. Iv tryed every means it went to Colorado labs nerver got that back. 4 years ago. I did get one back from jewler said has platinum gold copper zink 7/8 gold iron. So its rare I was told and like a crystalin mix, It looks I dentical platinum crystal nugget. Cant tell its not identical in apperance.

Anonymous said...

There are lots of satisfied users that verify fat loss of
up to 5lbs a week or maybe more, even though, like all weight-loss product, benefits vary from anyone to a higher.
Phen375, as complete, is also FDA permitted, so you can be assured that
theres no-aspect effects associated with it. This is important query that you will
want to answer,as many weight management capsules are designed
to suppress your appetite.

Feel free to visit my blog: diet pills that work

Anonymous said...

* Always prefer for natural weight reduction - There are lots of diet program supplements available
which contain synthetic compounds that may create really poor and unhealthy side-effects.
This situation is utilized in drugs design to alter mental performance distribution, which
may be the case with drugs like amphetamine, phentermine, and benzphetamine.
8.

my web page: phen375 uk

Anonymous said...

Once that has been accomplished, you just need to submit a current photo ID, sign some paperwork and provide sexy,
high-quality photos of yourself. David Kamau is writes articles and dating
service reviews at his site and blog. Many camgirls might genuinely enjoy spending time with you in a free chat, but once they realize you are not going to ever come into
video chat, they will lose interest.

my page free sex cams

Anonymous said...

This is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
Simple but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one.
A must read article!

My blog - How to get rid of stretch marks

Anonymous said...

Currently it seems like Wordpress is the preferred blogging platform out there right now.

(from what I've read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

Also visit my weblog :: stretch mark removal and home remedy

Anonymous said...

I am not sure where you're getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful information I was looking for this info for my mission.

My webpage ford ranger

Anonymous said...

No mаtter if some one searсhes
for his requігed thing, so he/she needs to
be avaіlablе that in detaіl, so that
thing is maintained over hеre.

My web page: www.konektayo.com

Anonymous said...

I have been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of space .
Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this web site.
Studying this information So i am glad to convey that I've a very good uncanny feeling I found out just what I needed. I most unquestionably will make certain to do not put out of your mind this website and provides it a glance on a relentless basis.

Also visit my homepage :: cam chat

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers?

My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to
no back up. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?


My site ... phillyclassics.com

Anonymous said...

What's up to every body, it's my first go to see of this blog; this weblog includes remarkable and truly excellent
stuff in favor of readers.

Check out my homepage: live free sex shows

Anonymous said...

Hi just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren't loading correctly. I'm not sure why
but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

My web site; Indimusic.tv

Anonymous said...

Thanks for one's marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you could be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back in the future. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great posts, have a nice evening!

Review my site free live chat cams

Anonymous said...

It's an remarkable paragraph designed for all the internet visitors; they will get benefit from it I am sure.

Feel free to surf to my site ... scubaspots.com

Anonymous said...

Ahaa, its nice discussion about this post here at this
webpage, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.


my website ... webcam chats

Anonymous said...

certainly like your website however you need to take a look at the spelling on
quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in
finding it very bothersome to tell the reality nevertheless I will definitely
come back again.

Also visit my website :: hot live sex

Anonymous said...

What's up, all the time i used to check weblog posts here early in the daylight, since i like to learn more and more.

My website ... www2.academia.my

Anonymous said...

I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up!
I'll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later. Cheers

Check out my weblog; live free sex webcams

Anonymous said...

What's up, all is going perfectly here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that's really excellent,
keep up writing.

my blog live sex streaming

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously
this weblog and I am inspired! Extremely useful information specifically the closing section :) I care
for such info a lot. I used to be seeking this particular
info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.


Feel free to surf to my blog ... live Free cams

Anonymous said...

This info is worth everyone's attention. Where can I find out more?

My web site: wikisf.ro

Anonymous said...

Hello my friend! I wish to say that this article is awesome,
great written and include approximately all significant infos.
I would like to peer extra posts like this .

Here is my web blog live webcam sex for free

Anonymous said...

I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.

I do not know who you are but definitely you're going to a famous blogger if you aren't already ;
) Cheers!

Have a look at my website; lingr.com

Anonymous said...

Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this web site needs a great deal more attention.

I'll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!

My web-site :: http://www.playedonline.com/

Anonymous said...

Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against
hackers? I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard
on. Any tips?

Also visit my blog post; streaming adult webcams

Anonymous said...

Increasing your metabolism works because it implies that more calories
will probably be burned through the daily function of your body.
Diet pills are what the name implies "ingredients in the pill which are supposed that can assist you slim down" and zilch much more.

It also releases chemicals to aid the breaking down of
body fats.

My web page - phen375 review

Anonymous said...

Its not my first time to pay a quick visit this web page, i am browsing this web
site dailly and get good facts from here all the time.



My page live nude cams for free

Anonymous said...

Great blog here! Also your site loads up fast!

What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your
host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

Also visit my site: free cam sex chats

Anonymous said...

Great article! That is the kind of information that are supposed to be shared around the net.
Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this post upper!
Come on over and seek advice from my web site . Thanks
=)

Also visit my homepage ... free live sex show

Anonymous said...

Wow that was strange. I just wrote an really long comment but after I
clicked submit my comment didn't appear. Grrrr... well I'm not
writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say superb blog!


Also visit my website ... cam to cam live sex free

Anonymous said...

Terrific post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
I'd be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Cheers!

Feel free to surf to my blog - live free webcam shows

Anonymous said...

Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well
written article. I'll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I'll definitely return.



Here is my site: cams for porn

Anonymous said...

Hello mates, its great post on the topic of cultureand entirely explained, keep
it up all the time.

Here is my web blog; live webcams adult

Anonymous said...

I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was curious what all is required to get set up? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would
cost a pretty penny? I'm not very web savvy so I'm not 100%
positive. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

Also visit my site ... capsiplex review

Anonymous said...

Hi it's me, I am also visiting this web site on a regular basis, this website is in fact pleasant and the visitors are truly sharing pleasant thoughts.

my web site; korillolatino.com

Anonymous said...

We are a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
Your web site provided us with useful info to work on.
You have performed a formidable activity and our whole community
will be thankful to you.

Visit my website - deer antler plus

Anonymous said...

Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening.
I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this short article together.
I once again find myself personally spending a lot
of time both reading and posting comments. But so what,
it was still worthwhile!

Also visit my site ... amherstblock.com

Anonymous said...

hello!,I like your writing so a lot! percentage we keep up a correspondence more approximately your article on AOL?
I need an expert in this area to solve my problem. May be that is you!
Taking a look ahead to see you.

Here is my web site free porn chat site

Anonymous said...

Hello to all, as I am in fact eager of reading this
web site's post to be updated daily. It includes nice stuff.

Visit my web page: view live webcams

Anonymous said...

Greate pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog.
Im really impressed by it.
Hi there, You have done an excellent job. I'll certainly digg it and in my opinion suggest to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this web site.

my web site daily live porn

Anonymous said...

It's perfect time to make some plans for the future and it's
time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things
or tips. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
I wish to read even more things about it!

Visit my blog ... porno chat

Anonymous said...

I think this is one of the most vital information for me. And i am glad reading your article.

But wanna remark on some general things, The site style is great, the articles is really nice : D.

Good job, cheers

Have a look at my website free webcam chats

Anonymous said...

I have been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or blog posts on this kind of area .
Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this website.
Studying this info So i am happy to convey that I've a very excellent uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most indubitably will make certain to do not fail to remember this web site and give it a look regularly.

My site ... free porn live chats

Anonymous said...

Keep on writing, great job!

Feel free to surf to my blog cam To cam Sex for free

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Its genuinely amazing article, I have got much clear idea concerning from this
article.

Here is my weblog ... live stream porn

Anonymous said...

Woah! I'm really loving the template/theme of this blog. It's simple,
yet effective. A lot of times it's challenging to get that "perfect balance" between superb usability and visual appearance. I must say you have done a very good job with this. In addition, the blog loads very quick for me on Safari. Outstanding Blog!

my site living with a Sex addict

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I enjoy reading through your post. I like to write a little comment to support you.


Here is my web site: porn videos

Anonymous said...

Hi there to every body, it's my first visit of this website; this blog consists of remarkable and genuinely good information in favor of readers.

my site :: top adult cams

Anonymous said...

Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post!
It is the little changes that produce the most significant changes.

Many thanks for sharing!

Also visit my website: living sex dolls :: http://www.redtube.su/ :
:

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme.
Did you design this website yourself or did you hire
someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks a lot

Take a look at my web blog: chat live porn

Anonymous said...

My coder is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP.
I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.

But he's tryiong none the less. I've been using WordPress on
a number of websites for about a year and am worried about
switching to another platform. I have heard good things about blogengine.
net. Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it?
Any kind of help would be really appreciated!



Feel free to surf to my web site - poron sex Veido

Anonymous said...

Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote
the book in it or something. I think that you
could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other
than that, this is fantastic blog. An excellent read.

I'll definitely be back.

My website - live sexy web cams

Anonymous said...

When I initially commented I clicked the "Notify me when new comments are added" checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three e-mails
with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that
service? Bless you!

My web-site ... live cam to cam sex *http://llinks.org*

Anonymous said...

This article is really a good one it assists new net people, who
are wishing for blogging.

Here is my web blog ... sexy Webcams free (www.Mycandylove.com)

Anonymous said...

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info.
Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.


My web-site: Live Video Cam Porn (Http://Www.Groupfaces.Com)

Anonymous said...

Good day! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using
for this site? I'm getting sick and tired of Wordpress because I've had problems with hackers and I'm looking at options for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

Also visit my homepage - kinky sex chat ()

Anonymous said...

Howdy! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha plugin
for my comment form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having
trouble finding one? Thanks a lot!

Also visit my web site :: porn cams live free

Anonymous said...

I really like what you guys are usually up too. Such clever work and exposure!
Keep up the fantastic works guys I've added you guys to my own blogroll.

my web site :: livesex videos