19 Jan

Scrap Metal Industry In Europe

Scrap metals are considered to be waste products intended to be processed in order to enter the manufacturing cycle over again. The trend of growing interest in scrap metals is booming not only in Europe and the United States; Turkey, India, China and dozens of other countries are actively buying scrap metal in huge volumes. The explanation is pretty easy to find: scrap metal is way much cheaper than raw iron or copper.

Honestly, the Eastern and Western attitudes towards scrap metals processing are fundamentally different. Therefore, Europeans nourish interest in maintaining free trade of scrap: import and export rates are currently on the crest of a wave here. Since a savvy European scrap metal dealer is interested in searching for prospective opportunities, the number of imported and exported scrap is typically close to be equal. This indicates a high stability of the market and progressive development of market relations.

Western European countries sell scrap in many other countries: Turkey, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and nearly 30 states more to be mentioned. In Germany, France and the UK scrap metal is consumed in higher volumes in comparison with raw minerals. By the way, Germany is the European leader in scrap metal harvesting and processing, as well as export.

In accordance with a research, carried out in the University of Brussels, European dumps will store almost four billion tons of ferrous metal in the coming 25 years. The lion’s share of this volume will be comprised of cars. Scientists forecast that over the 25 years the number of the vehicles produced will outperform the number of cars ever produced before. The consumption boom, according to experts, will naturally be more noticeable in more developed economies.

12 Jan

Konstantin Novoselov About Graphene

Nobel Laureate in Physics Konstantin Novoselov believes that graphene, for investigation of which he and Andrew Geim received a prestigious award, will be applied in the production of high-frequency transistors. Graphene is already available for individual entrepreneurs in the UK (the price ranges from 700 to 2300 pounds).

Now everyone is talking about graphene mainly positively: the material has unique physical chemical properties; it is expected it will revolutionise the world of electronics. This is the first known to man two-dimensional material that conducts electricity as well as copper; thus it grants an opportunity to create touch screens, solar sails for space vehicles, flexible electronic devices and many more.

However, the method for producing graphene, which was pioneered by Geim and Novoselov, initially did not find support in the scientific community. They used graphite rods and duct tapes, glued and then sticking to obtain material with a thickness of just one atom. It was believed that the layers of this thickness will be deformed.

Currently, Novoselov is asked one basic question regarding a better solution for the whole world: is graphene really better than its ‘precursor’, silicon, which is already used in the manufacture of transistors? The question of how the new technology will make another step forward to really take advantage of graphene has to be answered yet.

As mentioned, graphene for private engineering purposes is already available. The world’s first supplier of this material is the company Graphene Industries, registered in Manchester, where Geim and Novoselov live and work. Moreover, the industry is entered by ambitious brain tanks – the graphene companies like 2-DTECH provide guidance on how to integrate the neoteric material, thus accelerating the commercialisation process. The company representatives claim that graphene uses are numerous, and even today the innovative businesses can derive considerable benefits from its use.

‘Right now, we are collaborating with the owner of Graphene Industries, Peter Blake, who sells graphene for studies of biological objects in the transmission electron microscopes’, says Novoselov.

Currently, work is underway on the use of graphene in the creation and super-capacious phenomenally quickly-recharged batteries, particularly for electric vehicles, laptops and mobile phones. ‘Well this is a completely new area, and the results achieved so far do not mean that the full potential is used’, says Novoselov.

Even though the author of the revolutionary invention fails to forecast when will the practical application of graphene technology be used massively and worldwide, Novoselov is still quite optimistic. ‘If I was asked a year ago, I probably would have said ‘never’, but the last year was marked by a major breakthrough in the field of mass graphene production, so at the moment I’m much more optimistic about the practical application of this material’.

According to him, a good indicator of possible applications, it was not what people think in the laboratory, but what big companies plan. ‘The plans for the application of graphene by Samsung suggested experiments with further development to the commercial samples of touchscreen-displays back in 2012, however, the progress is not yet appreciable’, Novoselov says.