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Hazardous Wastes from Materials Extraction - Assignment Example

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Name Instructor Course Date Hazardous Wastes from Materials Extraction Carbon Footprint and Environmental Impacts of Steel Refining, Aluminum Production and Plastic Carbon foot print is the sum of all greenhouse gases that a production process causes to the environment…
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Hazardous Wastes from Materials Extraction
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Download file to see previous pages The two metals are mined as ores with impurities such as lead, selenium, benzene, cadmium and numerous other impurities. The ores are melted in a furnace till they reach their boiling points which are 7000 degrees Celsius. The boiling point of other impurities in these ores is lower and, therefore, by the moment aluminium and steel begin to boil the impurities are already in vapour form which is condensed to their respective pure metals such as lead, and selenium (Fletcher 10). Aluminium and steel are left in their furnaces as a sludge that is condensed with the help red sludge as a reducing agent. The success of steel and aluminium refining depends on how well the vapour of impurities is condensed and not released into the atmosphere. It also depends on how the manufacturer is ethical so as not to dump these wastes illegally. When released illegally, these heavy metals will be swept off by running rain water and taken into rivers. This causes these metals to de eaten by fish. This fish is then consumed by human beings. As these metals cannot be digested, they accumulate in the body causing various ailments such as cancer. In addition, if the red sludge is not well disposed of it causes soil alkalinity that is expensive to correct. The substance also contains heavy metals that it picks from the molten aluminium. Its proper disposal is, therefore, important. The refining of oil is also an energy intensive process. Crude oil is boiled in a fractionating column that allows the various components to evaporate when its boiling point is reached. When the boiling point of plastic elements in crude oil is reached, the liquid is collected and molten into various forms. The success of this process also depends on how impurities such as plastics are trapped before they escape into the atmosphere as pollutants (Fletcher 10). Similarities The refining of the three elements involves melting their original complex compound, that is, crude oil, steel ore and aluminium ore. The impurities of these ores evaporate and these elements are left in pure form (Smith 13). US industries and Reporting US have many industries dealing with steel, aluminum, and crude oil. These industries are required by law to submit annual environmental audits of their activities. These reports outline the effects their activities have on the environment. They also outline the measures they are taking to control the bad effects of their production process. They are also required to employ latest technologies to save energy use and conserve resources. Environmental Protection Agency monitors all industries to ensure they have complied with environmental laws (Kubova 12). Fairness of the Industries The cases presented in the websites do not give a fair compensation to those who were affected by the sludge and toxic smoke from the steel industry. This is because they are reported to be dumping illegal toxic materials beyond levels that are agreed. They also promise to restore degraded land areas of which they cannot be restored completely. They also give false information that the sludge is not harmful to both people and environment (Olivares 12). This is not the reality because people had to be taken to hospital with burns and some also died due to harmful effects of the sludge. Are there differences in pollution generation based on country of production? Companies from developed countries shift their industries to third world counties because they often find it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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