Extraction of Metals Essay

2030 Words Sep 1st, 2013 9 Pages
Extraction of metals

The History of Metals.
Metals have been used by people for many thousands of years. Gold and silver, found as native metal, were used both as jewellery and as a status symbol - nothing new there. These metals were known in the Stone Age, but gold and silver are too soft to be used as tools.

The first really useful metal to be discovered was bronze. This began the Bronze Age. Bronze was used extensively for tools and weapons in Asia and Africa from 4,500 B.C. (6,500 years ago) and in Britain from 2,000 B.C. (4,000 years ago). News of the new material travelled slowly in those days and it took the Brits 2,500 years to get the message.
Bronze is not an element (like gold and silver) but an alloy (metal mixture) of
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* Oxides formed later when photosynthesis in plants released large amounts of oxygen into the atmosphere.
Metal ore deposits are a finite resource (there are only a certain amount of them) and non-renewable (once used, they are gone and will not be replaced).
Many metals are obtained today from recycling (melting and refining) scrap metals. About half of the aluminium, copper, leas, steel and tin which are used in the UK come from recycled scrap metal.
A metal above carbon in the reactivity series may be extracted from its ore by electrolysis. A metal below carbon is used because it is readily available and cheap (coke or charcoal are both carbon).
Effects

One of the growing concerns right now is the increasingly worsening condition of our environment. If you read and listen to environment news, you will not just worry but be scared of all the things that could potentially go wrong once we’ve exhausted our natural sources.
One natural resource that is in high demand is metal. The increasing need for this element has made companies extract more to meet the demand. If they continue to this way, we will soon deplete this natural resource.
Environmental Impact of Metal Extraction
When metal is extracted from the ground, it creates a lot of negative impact to the environment. For example, let’s have a look at what’s happening in Brazil, the country that’s fast becoming the world’s primary supplier of gold. What people don’t

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