Earth has become a huge mine, with a greater quantity and variety of fundamental mineral resources being extracted year after year. Technology, from electric cars to everyday electrical equipment, consume vast amounts of scarce raw materials. On a planet with limited resources, are these minerals being properly assessed? Will there be enough raw materials to meet the demand of a world population on track to reach 10 billion people? What will be the consequences of accelerated resource depredation? Will the planet one day become 'Thanatia', a resource-exhausted Earth?
This book allows readers to understand the mineral heritage of the Earth, considering the demand for raw materials in society, comparing it with the availability of resources on Earth and the impact of mining. The basics of physical geonomics are exlpained, allowing readers to analyse the loss of mineral resources on the planet. The impact of renewable energies and technologies, including electric vehicles, are studied. The book concludes with possible solutions to mineral depletion, from increasing recycling rates, ecodesign measures or alternative sources of mineral resources.
Providing numerous tables and illustrations, 'The Material Limits of Energy Transition: Thanatia' gives readers a thorough understanding of mineral depletion. Exploring geology, geochemistry, mining, metallurgy, the environment and thermodynamics, this is a truly holistic book.
Dr Alicia Valero is Director of the Industrial Ecology Group of the CIRCE Institute and Associate Professor of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Zaragoza. She has had a successful research career in the topics addressed in this book, related to the exergy evaluation of mineral resource depletion, among others. Professor Antonio Valero is Chair in Thermal Systems at University of Zaragoza since 1986 and Founder of the Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption, (CIRCE). He is full Member of the Club of Rome Intl. and ASME Fellow. He is a main contributor of thermoeconomics --general theory of exergy saving, diagnosis of complex energy plants --and exergoecology, applied to evaluate the exergy of resources of the earth, from which Thanatia is derived. He is Winner of the ASME James Harry Potter Gold Medal Award'96, among many other distinctions. Dr. Guiomar Calvo is Geologist with extensive experience on the subject, providing a necessary counterpoint by combining engineering with geology. The authors have published numerous scientific articles and books, receiving several international Best Paper awards. They have participated in conferences and talks, for which they have a broad career and an outstanding reputation in their respective fields of study.