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Sun Apr 22, 2018, 06:41 PM

Some life cycle graphics on so called "rare earth elements," i.e. the lanthanides.

Source: Behind the Scenes of Clean Energy: The Environmental Footprint of Rare Earth Products (Zhao et alACS Sustainable Chem. Eng., 2018, 6 (3), pp 33113320)

No comment from me, just some pictures, all referring to the preparation of 1 kg of the various indicated materials:

Table 1. Life Cycle Impacts of 1 kg REO Common to Bayan Obo Mines and Ion-Adsorption Clays

Table 2. Life Cycle Impacts of 1 kg Phosphor

Table 3. Life Cycle Impacts of 1 kg NdFeB Magnets Produced by Two Facilities Using Two REE Sources

Have a nice evening.

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Reply Some life cycle graphics on so called "rare earth elements," i.e. the lanthanides. (Original post)
NNadir Apr 2018 OP
Sophia4 Apr 2018 #1
NNadir Apr 2018 #2
StevieM Apr 2018 #3
NNadir Apr 2018 #4

Response to NNadir (Original post)

Sun Apr 22, 2018, 08:08 PM

1. So preparing alternative energy from rare elements is a process that


results in pollution.

But once you have the solar panels, for example, they last a very, very long time.

Using fossil fuels is for the period of their use less toxic, less polluting, but we always have to use more and more.

And with nuclear fuels, the problem of accidents, theft and misuse is just horrifying.

Am I understanding your charts correctly?

They appear to have been prepared for scientists and not for lay people like me. I have several degrees but the charts tell me almost nothing unless my statements are true.

Please do explain (in other words).

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Response to Sophia4 (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 22, 2018, 09:09 PM

2. No they don't.

In less than 20 years, almost all of the solar cells now in operation will be more electronic waste being dumped on the third world to be "recycled" by poor people about whom we couldn't care less.

In any case, solar produce trivial amounts of energy, as do wind turbines.

The data, prepared by the International Energy Agency is here, and anyone who cares about the planet could read it as opposed to offering fantasies that have no bearing on reality:

IEA 2017 World Energy Outlook, Table 2.2 page 79

Converting these figures to exajoules (from MTOE) one can learn that on this planet, humanity was consuming, as of 2016, 576 exajoules of energy.

After 50 years - half a century - of mindless cheering for so called "renewable energy," so called "renewable energy" in the form of solar and wind combined doesn't produce even 10 of them, 9.42 to be exact as of 2016 combined.

We spent two trillion dollars on this future landfill in the last 10 years alone, with the result that the concentration of the dangerous fossil fuel waste in this planet has risen, as of yesterday morning to 411.14 ppm, having risen from less than 387 ppm ten years ago.

Because of the ridiculous fantasy in favor of so called "renewable energy" the fastest growing source of energy on this planet is coal.

Right now 7 million people die each year from air pollution:

A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 19902010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (Lancet 2012, 380, 222460: For air pollution mortality figures see Table 3, page 2238 and the text on page 2240.)

That works out to 19,000 people per day.

19,000 human beings, every damned day!

And yet you are here to tell me about "accidents" and "thefts" and "horrifying misuse!"


When has the nuclear power industry killed 19,000 people per day?

Nuclear energy saves lives: Prevented Mortality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Historical and Projected Nuclear Power (Pushker A. Kharecha* and James E. Hansen Environ. Sci. Technol., 2013, 47 (9), pp 48894895)

All the Trumpian scale misrepresentations and distortions to the contrary are meaningless. The claim is that nuclear energy, and only nuclear energy need be risk free or everything else can kill at a vast scale.

The bourgeois people hyping this future electronic waste - solar cells - in this country and in other parts of the Western world, couldn't give a rat's ass that 10% of the rice crop in regions of China is contaminated with cadmium in part in order to make "green" cadmium telluride and cadmium selenide solar cells.

Assessment of dietary cadmium exposure: A cross-sectional study in rural areas of south China (Zhou et al Food Control Volume 62, April 2016, Pages 284-290)

If one wants to talk about "misuse" of materials it would help to know some science.

As far as I'm concerned, the reason that future generations will have a severely degraded environment, including broadly distributed toxic elements from "distributed energy," few resources with which to clean up the mess that we left them out of grotesque indifference and contempt for them, is that we were entirely and completely unwilling to stop lying to ourselves.

I spent thirty years finding this stuff out, and I'm not going to apologize for doing so, either as a scientist or as a human being.

History will not forgive us, nor should it. We have insisted on remaining criminally ignorant.

Have a wonderful work week.

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Response to NNadir (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 26, 2018, 06:34 PM

3. Isn't the problem with nuclear energy that it is very expensive?

I can't help but feel that if it was cost-efficient we would have made the transformation a long time ago.

And the cost of renewables is rapidly coming down. In other words, even if you were right in the past, that doesn't necessarily speak to the future.

Finally, none of this fully speaks to other parts of our energy economy, like transportation and space and water heating. We are still going to have problems on that front when we stop using fossil fuels to make electricity.

I do like the idea of building some LFTR reactors, which I have heard can reprocess nuclear waste.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #3)

Thu Apr 26, 2018, 08:00 PM

4. These shibboleths are additional cases of selective attention, and frankly they're nonsense.

Let's look at the artificial criteria set for nuclear energy, which is that at no point in the next 1,000 or next million years depending on the rhetoric of the people who hate it without knowing anything at all about it, the industry prove that no one will be harmed by it.

This is a standard that no form of energy - were any other form of energy subject to it - can meet.

In a rational and morally reasonable world, the external costs of energy need to be included in the price, but they are not. Fossil fuels and biomass are allowed to kill tens of millions of lives - roughly 70 million every ten years - without being required to pay a penny of medical costs, never mind the costs of lost productivity is not charged either to the users or the producers of dangerous fossil fuel. It's charged to all future generations.

The leaking wells, the mountains whose tops have been removed, the mercury pollution, the completely ignored radioactive pollution from gas hydraulic fragmentation work (fracking) or the destruction of the planetary atmosphere, damage that will remain essentially forever.

"Renewable energy" is not at all actually "renewable," nor is the criteria for "pricing coming down" at all honest.

The first statement is true because the elements utilized in this technology can easily be depleted and in fact, their mining his highly fossil fuel dependent. I recently posted a set of graphics from a recent paper in the primary scientific literature showing this fact, because there are more and more scientists who are questioning this cockamamie scheme to destroy the planet.

Some life cycle graphics on so called "rare earth elements," i.e. the lanthanides.

Predictably this post had no response because the ingrained mythology with these "nuclear is expensive," "renewables are cheap" shit one never stops hearing consists now entirely of people sticking cotton in their ears and chanting - without a shred of thought - these same delusional slogans. But the result is clear enough. Without high density liquid fuels and extractants the useless and very expensive wind industry would collapse entirely like a turbine in Diller.


But it's not the fact that wind turbines seldom work for more than 20-25 years, as I've pointed out with many appeals to the Danish Database of its more than 6000 turbines that are incapable of producing as much energy as one large nuclear plant can produce in a single building, never mind that Denmark has already decommissioned more than 3000 of these disgusting hulks of wasted metal, the coal used to refine that metal, the gas and coal to make the misused concrete and marine and land based diesel fueled ships and trucks.

This database is here: Danish Energy Agency Master Register of Wind Turbines

I've analyzed this database at various points in various blogs, here's text from a post I offered on another website:

If one downloads the Excel file available in the link for reference 29 one can show that the Danes, as of the end of March 2015, have built and operated 8,002 wind turbines of all sizes. Of these, 2727, or 34.1% of them have been decommissioned. Of those that were decommissioned, the mean lifetime was 16.94 years (16 years and 310 days). Twenty-one of the decommissioned wind turbines operated less than two years, two never operated at all, and 103 operated for less than 10 years. Among decommissioned turbines, the one that lasted the longest did so for 34 years and 210 days. Among all 2727 decommissioned wind turbines, 6 lasted more than 30 years.

Of the 5,275 turbines still operating there are 13 that lasted longer than 34 years and 210 days, the longest, having operated (as of March 31, 2015) for 36 years and 303 days. The mean age of operating Danish wind turbines is 15.25 years, 15 years and 92 days.

In March of 2015, the entire Danish wind industry produced 1,137,405,953 kWh (or 1.13 TWh) of electricity, which is the equivalent of 4.0967 petajoules (0.0041 exajoules). Thus for the 31 days of March 2015, the average continuous power output of the 5,275 operating wind turbines was 1529 MW. Since the rated (peak) capacity of the wind turbines operating in March of 2015 was 4096 MW, it follows that the capacity utilization of wind turbines in Denmark was 31.2%. These figures should make it clear that two average sized nuclear power plants, which would not have required thousands of trucks and cranes to travel all over Denmark trashing the landscape nor barges in the parts North Sea that the Danes have not yet trashed with oil and gas rigs as well as wind turbines, could have easily out produced all of the Danish wind turbines. Further there is no reason, other than appeals to stupidity and selective attention on the part of vociferous anti-nukes crying over a few atoms of tritium or some other such nonsense, that two hypothetical nuclear reactors could not be designed to last 60 or even 80 years. Even further, the nuclear power plants would not need redundant infrastructure to back them up.

Sustaining the Wind, Part I

The last sentence in the reproduced text brings me to the big, giant, obviously fraudulent lie that one hears over and over and over and over: "Renewable prices are falling."

If I buy a car that runs only 30% of the time that gets 40 miles per gallon when it does, but also require another car that runs the other 70% of the time, and both cars cost the same and both cars need insurance, maintenance, etc, am I being honest or am I being a freaking liar if I point to the one that gets 40 miles per gallon, isolate its cost from others and announce loudly that "driving is cheap!"?

Or am paying selective attention if I ignore the cost of the other car that I must have if I want to drive at will, particularly if I have little control or insight when the "cheap" car will be available to run?

Without access to dangerous natural gas and or coal, the renewable industry is useless. Moreover both systems are redundant and it dishonest and entirely misleading to cite the cost of one without acknowledging the cost of the other.

The inherent requirement for redundancy is wasted resources, and wasted money. I note that if I stick a neodymium iron boride magnet on a wind turbine, and another in a gas plant, the return on the external costs of manufacturing the magnet per MWh for the gas plant goes up, not down.

Moreover the external costs of each, destruction to the environment and to human and ecosystem health, accrues to the other.

Finally, it can be shown by appeal to the fact that a power plant boiler fueled by dangerous fossil fuels cannot, by definition be an adiabatic system, i.e. that it must exchange heat with the environment to work at all, it follows that shutting a gas or coal or oil powered plant actually requires that energy be wasted. If I have a pot of boiling water on my burner, and I turn it off for an hour, come back and decide I need boiling water and turn the burner back on, the water will not boil instantly. I will waste gas heating it to the boiling point all over. Even 1st graders know that. How is that so called "renewable energy" advocates never think of that issue? Is it related to the fact that they're not big on "thinking?"

Is that wise for what is already a trivial form of energy, so called "renewable energy?"

In this country, the United States, we built more than 100 nuclear reactors in less than 25 years while providing some of the cheapest electricity on earth. Why are we here to announce that what has already happened is impossible? Could it be that we listened to people with very, very, very, very poor minds, assholes like the anti-nuke Amory Lovins, Helen Caldicott, Joe Romm, Harvey Wasserman, bourgoeis shit for brains people who worked like arsonists complaining about forest fires as they worked to destroy the manufacturing infrastructure, the intellectual infrastructure, the engineering schools of the only truly new form of energy discovered in the last 100 years, a form of energy discovered and developed by some of the finest minds the world has ever known?

Can it be that picayune selective attention, emphasizing Fukushima over 7 million air pollution deaths every damn year has caused a reign of stupidity that is destroying the future?

How come we can't do what we've already done? What's the reason? Any idea?

Right now, that "cheap renewable energy" has lead to the countries in Europe having the highest electricity rates being, Denmark (where electricity is almost double the price in France) and Germany. The Danes can't drill for oil and gas in the North Sea fast enough, and the Germans have no plan to stop digging (and importing) coal.

Eurostat Energy Prices

Finally, we squandered more than 2 trillion dollars on wind and gas in the last ten years, with the result that this hyped crap doesn't even produce 10 of the 576 exajoules of energy we use each year on this planet.

This information is here, in the UNEP Frankfurt School Report, issued each year: GLOBAL TRENDS IN RENEWABLE ENERGY INVESTMENT 2017

and here:

IEA 2017 World Energy Outlook, Table 2.2 page 79 (I have converted MTOE in the original table to the SI unit exajoules in this text.)

The so called "renewable energy" industry is not at all cheap because it soaks money for almost no result. It hasn't worked to solve environmental problems, it isn't working to do so, and it won't work to do so.

The whole damn so called "renewable energy" enterprise is a huge international effort for people to lie to themselves, and to destroy the future.

There was, after all, a reason that humanity largely abandoned so called "renewable energy" in the 19th century, when the population was less than 1/7th of what it is now. The reason is that then - even more than today - most human beings lived short miserable lives in dire poverty.

And that's what we're offering our children and their children and their children and their great-great-great grandchildren, short miserable lives of dire poverty albeit, unlike the unfortunate bulk of the world population in the 19th century, lives in a severely degraded environment.

They will look at those rotting wind turbines on land and in the sea, be drinking water with the leaky toxins of land filled solar cells, perhaps billion of them, and think of us with hatred and contempt. From my perspective they will be totally justified.

History will not forgive us, nor should it.

Thanks for asking. Have a nice evening.

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