As consumption of copper has risen exponentially—reaching 17 million metric tons in 2012—miners have met the world's demand for 10,000 years. But that might soon change. A group of resource specialists has taken the first shot at projecting how much more copper miners will wring from the planet.
The AFM results indicate that the heteroepitaxial growth of cadmium carbonate proceeds via three different mechanisms depending on the initial supersaturation of the aqueous solution: advancement of existing steps, nucleation and growth of three-dimensional (3D) islands, and nucleation and spread of two-dimensional (2D) nuclei. Cross-sectional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images reveal that the atomic structure of the interface between the cadmium carbonate coating and calcite shows perfect, dislocation-free epitaxy.
Using X-ray absorption spectroscopy and electron imaging analysis the authors found that at low surface loading, UIV forms inner-sphere complexes with two metal oxides, TiO2 (rutile) and Fe3O4 (magnetite) (at <1.3 U nm–2 and <0.037 U nm–2, respectively).
Researchers drill into magma to harness powerful new energy source
Ath Godelitsas's insight:
To use the magma for energy, workers wouldn’t drill directly into it. Instead, they could either tap into superhot water in nearby magma-heated rock and use its steam to turn turbines, or make artificial steam by injecting water from the surface. In 2011, the researchers finished the well just above the magma, where the temperature didn’t quite reach 900°C. Even so, the well generated superheated steam and 35 MW of electricity at 500°C, Elders and his colleagues report in the current issue of Geothermics. For the first time, researchers proved it was possible to create supercritical geothermal wells enhanced by magma.
Hydrous magnesium-rich silicates play an important role in transporting water into the deep mantle when oceanic plates subduct as slabs. The authors have used in situ X-ray measurements in conjunction with a multi-anvil apparatus using sintered diamond anvils to show that hydrous phases are stable under lower mantle conditions up to 50 GPa. They found that phase D transforms to an assemblage with another hydrous silicate (MgSiH2O4), named phase H, at pressures above about 48 GPa.
The authors have used infrared spectroscopy (IR), uranium LIII-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), and phosphorus K-edge XAS analyses to constrain the binding environments of phosphate and uranium associated with Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 bacterial cells. Systems tested as a function of pH included: cells under metal-reducing conditions without uranium, cells under reducing conditions that produced primarily uraninite, and cells under reducing conditions that produced primarly biomass-associated noncrystalline U(IV). P X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) results provided clear and direct evidence of U(IV) coordination to phosphate. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy revealed a pronounced perturbation of phosphate functional groups in the presence of uranium. Analysis of these data provides evidence that U(IV) is coordinated to a range of phosphate species, including monomers and polymerized networks.
The research team, with funding from the Deep Carbon Observatory, used an intense Synchrotron X-ray diffraction beamline at the Advanced Photon Source to deduce the spin states of iron from X-ray diffraction patterns of a tiny ferromagnesite sample in a high pressure-temperature diamond anvil cell. Their results show that the spin transition of iron in ferromagnesite is strongly associated with a unit cell volume collapse from the high-spin to the low-spin state, resulting in significant changes in physical and potentially chemical properties of carbonate.
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and BET surface area analysis showed rapid coarsening at 100 and 200 °C. Evidence of particle growth at 23 °C was not visible by SEM but high resolution X-ray diffraction (XRD) data demonstrated steady growth of nanometer crystallites. The results can be described by theory where grains coarsen preferentially by aggregation at early times and high temperatures and by Ostwald ripening at later stages.
The propensities for nanoparticles to attach to and disrupt cell membranes are still not well understood due to the heterogeneous and dynamic nature of biological membranes. Model biological membranes can be employed for systematic investigations of nanoparticle−membrane interactions.
Sedimentary rocks examined by the Curiosity rover at Yellowknife Bay, Mars, were derived from sources that evolved from an approximately average martian crustal composition to one influenced by alkaline basalts. No evidence of chemical weathering is preserved, indicating arid, possibly cold, paleoclimates and rapid erosion and deposition.
Five articles presented in the 24 January edition of Science describe the detection at Gale crater of a system of ancient environments that would have been habitable by chemoautotrophic microorganisms. A sixth article details a more ancient and also potentially habitable environment detected in Noachian age (>~3.7 billion years) rocks at Meridiani Planum. A seventh article describes the present radiation environment on the surface of Mars at Gale crater.
Researchers think they've finally solved the mystery of the Atacama Desert's massive nitrate deposits, known as white gold.
Ath Godelitsas's insight:
"These are weird deposits that, from a geological perspective, shouldn't be there," said Martin Reich, a geochemist at the Universidad de Chile in Santiago. "Nitrogen is abundant in the Earth's atmosphere but is highly depleted in the [Earth's] crust. Therefore, the giant nitrate deposits of the Atacama Desert are one of the most extraordinary, yet enigmatic mineral occurrences on Earth,"
This study, encompassing 231 countries and regions, quantifies the global transfer of three critical metals (neodymium, cobalt, and platinum) considered vital for low-carbon technologies by means of material flow analysis (MFA), using trade data (BACI) and the metal contents of trade commodities, resolving the optimization problem to ensure the material balance of the metals within each country and region.
Microbial humic substance (HS) reduction and subsequent abiotic electron transfer from reduced HS to poorly soluble Fe(III) (oxyhydr)oxides, a process named electron shuttling, significantly increases microbial Fe(III) mineral reduction rates. The results of this study suggest that HS electron shuttling can also contribute to iron redox processes in environments where biogenic Fe(III) minerals are present.
The authors studied rigid, two-dimensional colloidal crystals growing on spherical droplets to understand how the elastic stress induced by Gaussian curvature affects the growth pathway. In contrast to crystals grown on flat surfaces or compliant crystals on droplets, these crystals formed branched, ribbon-like domains with large voids and no topological defects.
By using a novel X-ray technique, researchers have observed a catalyst surface at work in real time and were able to resolve its atomic structure in detail. The new technique, pioneered at DESY's X-ray light source PETRA III, may pave the way for the design of better catalysts and other materials on the atomic level. It greatly speeds up the determination of atomic surface structures and enables live recordings of surface reactions like catalysis, corrosion and growth processes with a time resolution of less than a second.
By exploiting the high spatial resolution of TEM and EELS the authors detected water sealed in vesicles within amorphous rims produced by Solar Wind (SW) irradiation of silicate mineral grains on the exterior surfaces of interplanetary dust particles. Their findings establish that water is a byproduct of SW space weathering.
This paper is the first to present a method for high resolution quantification of silver nanoparticle (nAg) concentrations within porous media under controlled experimental conditions. This method makes it possible to extract silver nanoparticle concentrations within individual pores in static and quasi-dynamic (i.e., transport) systems. Quantification is achieved by employing absorption-edge synchrotron X-ray computed microtomography (SXCMT) and an extension of the Beer–Lambert law.
The 9th International Conference on the Occurrence, Properties, and Utilization of Natural Zeolites - Zeolite 2014 will be held from the 8th to 13th of June 2014 in Belgrade, Serbia. On behalf of the Organizing Committee of Zeolite 2014, we have the pleasure to cordially invite all researchers and interested parties to join us in participating in the scientific conference and related events.
Sedimentary rocks at Yellowknife Bay (Gale crater) on Mars include mudstone sampled by the Curiosity rover. The samples, John Klein and Cumberland, contain detrital basaltic minerals, calcium sulfates, iron oxide or hydroxides, iron sulfides, amorphous material, and trioctahedral smectites.
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