By | Connor Circle | Global HR Expert
Minerals are essential parts of human life. It is so important because we use products made from them every day. Modern technology is a good example of its application. Innovations are highly dependent on minerals nowadays; ranging from hybrid cars to medical health devices and advanced energy technologies.
Minerals are a valuable modern technology component. For example, 20 percent of platinum—a metal—is used for almost all manufactured goods. As modern technology is evolving and so many newer technologies are being invented, there is a high demand for minerals too. In this article, we will talk about how technology increases the need for minerals.
What is a Mineral?
A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic solid, of definite chemical composition, with an ordered internal structure. Minerals are embedded in the earth’s crust, and they are extracted when needed for use. They are of different chemical compositions, and each of them has its uses. Examples of minerals are copper, silicon, silver, gold, and so on.
What is Technology?
Technology is the practical application of scientific knowledge to make our everyday lives easier and therefore yield efficiency. It involves creating any element— either simple or complex— to reduce the stress of man and increase better living.
Minerals play an important role in the technological advancement we experience in most sectors today. Thus, the rapid growth encountered in these sectors has led to an increase in the need for minerals. Below are some technologies and how they have increased the need for minerals:
Minerals have opened the door to advanced energy technologies. Renewable energy is gradually taking over all other sources of energy, with minerals being its backbone. For instance, copper is used for wiring solar panels, and it is an essential component of wind turbines. Copper is also used for wiring power electric vehicles and lithium batteries. Manganese is another mineral used in wind-and-solar power-storing batteries in hybrid and electric vehicles. Another interesting biomass that can help tremendously in greener energy and fighting climate change is hempcrete. Therefore, due to these growths in the energy sector, there is an increased need for these minerals.
Many of the medical devices and medications used to save lives in the health sector will not function without minerals. The health sector has equally witnessed a tremendous improvement technologically. Minerals such as gold, silver, and copper are essential materials to handle CAT scan devices. Titanium is used during orthopedic surgery for different items such as wires, rods, screws, pins, and bone plates. Also, with the steady growth in health technology, minerals must always be available for use.
Technology is not just about building websites or browsing the internet. But it is about the multiple machinery and equipment that we use in our everyday life. Tech items such as smartphones, computers, televisions, and other electronic gadgets are built and manufactured with minerals, which can then be used to build a website— as another technology. The high demand for minerals for the production of electronic gadgets is not exempted here also. Examples of minerals used are cobalt, lithium, tellurium, manganese, and so on.
Industrial and Manufacturing Technology
The technology here deals with producing products on a large scale directly to customers or products that are not directly present to customers—for example, in the production of mechanical robots to create cars. They do not produce directly to the customers. The production of some robots requires minerals. Steel, Aluminum, and Kevlar are some examples of minerals used in the industrial sector. And with the massive growth in this sector, more minerals are needed for industrial production.
The Efficiency of Extraction and Mining Techniques
Some efficient mining technologies, which have part of their creation from minerals, are in use today. These technologies are put into use to detect the specific place an element or mineral can be located in the earth’s crust. They use sophisticated data analysis to spot, extract and manage resources. With the increased need for minerals, mining technology helps to detect and efficiently extract them.Being forced to choose between environmental disaster or economic collapse is, in effect, no choice at all. People that work in this field such as Jim Hughes, Joseph Sigelman, Mike Hayes, and many others are well aware of this fact and they try to find and offer different solutions by complementing renewables and serving as a transition to net-zero energy.
Technology is evolving at a very high rate nowadays. Almost all sectors are experiencing growth. From the electronic gadgets, we use to renewable energies. Since minerals are used to create most of these technologies, we need to put them into regular consideration. Therefore, as technology keeps getting better, so is the unavoidable increase in the need for minerals.