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Reflections: The Death of Gallium

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posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 11:23 AM
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Reflections: The Death of Gallium


www.asimovs.com

Gallium is thought to make up 0.0015 percent of the Earth’s crust and there are no concentrated supplies of it. We get it by extracting it from zinc or aluminum ore or by smelting the dust of furnace flues. Dr. Reller says that by 2017 or so there’ll be none left to use. Indium, another endangered element—number 49 in the periodic table—is similar to gallium in many ways, has many of the same uses (plus some others—it’s a gasoline additive, for example, and a component of the control rods
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posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 11:23 AM
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While we are all focussed on the oil crisis, it seems that we will totally exhaust the supply of a number of elements that we need to power our technology within the next ten years or so. Robert Silverberg's article is an eye opener. Also from cited article " The element gallium is in very short supply and the world may well run out of it in just a few years. Indium is threatened too, says Armin Reller, a materials chemist at Germany’s University of Augsburg. He estimates that our planet’s stock of indium will last no more than another decade. All the hafnium will be gone by 2017 also, and another twenty years will see the extinction of zinc. Even copper is an endangered item, since worldwide demand for it is likely to exceed available supplies by the end of the present century."

I think this needs some attention!

www.asimovs.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 05:26 PM
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The trouble is most people don't actually understand that all our current technology is built of these elements. What would our world be like without LED's is what you should be asking. OLEDs might save us in this regard but there are so many other techologies that use gallium.


  • Gallium is used widely as a dopant to dope semiconductors and produce solid-state devices like transistors.
  • Gallium is the rarest component of new photovoltaic compounds
  • As a component of the semiconductor gallium arsenide
  • Gallium nitrate, both oral and topical, is finding use in treating arthritis
  • Magnesium gallate containing impurities (such as Mn2+), is beginning to be used in ultraviolet-activated phosphor powder


Unfortunately this is not a new state of affairs; these shortages have been known about for a long time, and yet we keep manufacturing useless crap and burning or resources. Seems ludicrous.



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