Insights from the Life-Cycle of Metals by Prof. dr. Thomas E. Graedel

Course video 6 of 50

In Week 1, you will be introduced to the world of metals. What are they, what are their properties, what are they used for and how essential are they? We will address the difference between major and minor metals. Major metals are used in large basic applications such as buildings, cars, pipes, cables, bridges, trains and airplanes. Minor metals that are used mostly in all kinds of electronics and in new technologies, for example for wind and solar energy. The amounts used are much smaller. The minor metals have more attention in the news, because of problems with the supply from international trade, and are subject to criticality assessments. The major metals, on the other hand, are even more important, although less in the centre of attention. Without them, society would fall apart. In this course, we will focus mostly on those major metals. We also introduce the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. These SDGs are agreed on by all nations that are part of the UN, and outline goals for the future of the global society. They include goals on economic development, social development, health and the environment and form a powerful framework to judge developments in resource use, including metal use.

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