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Should Manganese Nodules Be Exploited As A Source Of Metal? Should We Continue Exploiting Manganese Nodules As A Source Of Metal, Taking Into Consideration All The Moral Aspects

1797 words - 8 pages

Manganese nodules are small, dark, potato-shaped mixtures of different minerals, containing sources of useful metals such as manganese, iron, copper, nickel, lead, zinc and cobalt. The nodules are formed by about 24% of manganese, 15% iron, 1.5% of nickel and smaller abundances of the other elements. Manganese nodules are found in large quantities in the sea-beds of oceans proximate to the regions of Russia, Brazil, Australia, Cook Islands, South Africa, Gabon, India and the Solomon Islands. It is generally found under depths of 2,750 to 4,500 meter of water, very often near tectonic plate boundaries, as it is formed from risen lava solidified between diverging oceanic plates. Therefore, it ...view middle of the document...

It also activates enzymes that are essential for the utilization of the vitamin B2, in our bodies.Manganese nodules are very useful to modern societies. Manganese is already an element vastly used to form alloys , and to modify some properties of steel. About 95% of the world's annual production of manganese goes toward the iron and steel industries. Crude steel contains undesirable amounts of sulphur and oxygen. The sulphur may then react with the iron in the steel, making a low melting point sulphide. When this occurs, the steel's surface will start cracking at hot temperatures; this is incident is known as "hot shortness". Manganese is very useful in situations like these, as it has the ability to react with sulphur and has powerful deoxidization capacities. Therefore, when manganese is present in steel, it reacts with the unwanted amounts of sulphur, preventing the iron from forming sulphides, and it removes the oxygen through its deoxidization properties. Manganese also plays another fundamental role in the steel production. It can form alloys with iron and carbon, to form durable, corrosion-resistant, stronger yet malleable steel and also increases its response to quenching , as it affects the transformation temperature , meaning that it becomes more resistant to heat. This alloy of steel and manganese is very useful to heavy constructions due to its properties and it is generally used in wrecking equipment or grinding machinery. Manganese also forms alloys with aluminium, making it even more resistant to corrosion. These alloys have very diverse applications, ranging from transport to kitchenware. It's also used for roofing and for car radiators that keeps the engines cool. By far, the most common use for manganese-aluminium alloys is for beverage cans, by which some 100 billion units are produced annually. However, creating this alloy is highly expensive, and only seems reasonable when applied to great industries, such as aerospace. Manganese can also combine with copper to improve its castability, strength and heat resistance. Another great factor of manganese is that it's cheap compared to similar metals such as nickel, thus replacing it in several occasions, such as in the alloy of silver-nickel which is widely used for plumbing and computer storage systems such as common hard-drives.Manganese also has quite a few non-metallurgical uses, the most important being for batteries. Not only is used in current batteries, but it has allowed scientists from Powers Papers Inc. to develop a new type of battery. It's as thin as paper and is non-toxic, meaning that it doesn't require a case. This opens the door to endless possibilities such as creating greeting cards, mouse pads and credit cards that are capable of storing, transmitting and displaying data. A German healthcare company, KSW Microtech, has implemented this battery to medicine. Every blood bag has now a little chip with a thermometer, powered by this new battery and is able to...

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