July 17, 2006
other tech: microwaving rocks for better mining
British company E2V technologies has a 4 megawatt microwave generator that can cook rocks for a millionth of a second and make them easier to break up in order to extract ore. They could reduce the energy used in mining in half (5% of the worlds energy, 420bn kWh, is used in mining). The technique may also increase the amount of ore liberated from a lump of rock, and the speed with which it is done. E2V technologies company website is here
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