1 day ago
Minerals Make Innovative Products
Minerals are essential for devices and products across all aspects of our lives, but perhaps what we do not think about when we start our cars or reach in our refrigerators is the role minerals play in making America a world leader in innovation. As some of the products below show, innovation comes in many forms, but relies on minerals.
Global sales of hybrid cars are expected increase from 2.2 percent in 2010 to 7.3 percent in 2020. Sulfur, silica, copper, gold, lead and molybdenum are all minerals we need to produce these cars and continue to lead the evolution of the automobile. In fact, hybrid cars use twice as much copper as traditional automobiles, and depend heavily on lithium-based batteries. As such, access to minerals will continue to play a central role in the development and evolution of hybrid cars in America.
The United States is a driving force in the development of wind and solar energy technologies. American leadership in this field is increasingly important as demand for these technologies grow—wind turbine use alone has increased 25 percent a year over the past decade. By ensuring access to the minerals required to produce these technologies—such as silica, phosphate rock, boron minerals, iron ore and molybdenum—the United States can continue to play an instrumental role in the evolution of advanced energy technologies.
CT Scan machines diagnose a variety of medical conditions by creating detailed images of large sections of the body in just a few seconds. The speed with which CT Scans can provide information on a variety of conditions is essential in developing successful diagnoses and treatments at increasingly faster speeds. Innovation and improvements in CT Scan machines can literally save lives—but not without minerals. CT Scan machines contain everything from tungsten and copper, to lead and cerium. Affordable and reliable access to these and other minerals is critical in moving the medical field in America forward.
Refrigerators are not just a storage place for our milk and eggs—they are an important part of our daily lives and a cornerstone of American innovation. With the introduction of advanced dual refrigeration, air purification and energy conservation technologies, refrigerators now preserve food and prevent waste even more efficiently. From the copper in their wires to the iron ore in their handles and the aluminum in their bodies, minerals are essential in producing the cutting-edge refrigerators that ensure our food stays fresher, longer.