Barbara K. Reck

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It is indisputable that modern life is enabled by the use of materials in its technologies. Those technologies do many things very well, largely because each material is used for purposes to which it is exquisitely fitted. The result over time has been a steady increase in product performance. We show that this materials complexity has markedly increased in(More)
Metals are infinitely recyclable in principle, but in practice, recycling is often inefficient or essentially nonexistent because of limits imposed by social behavior, product design, recycling technologies, and the thermodynamics of separation. We review these topics, distinguishing among common, specialty, and precious metals. The most beneficial actions(More)
Imbalances between metal supply and demand, real or anticipated, have inspired the concept of metal criticality. We here characterize the criticality of 62 metals and metalloids in a 3D "criticality space" consisting of supply risk, environmental implications, and vulnerability to supply restriction. Contributing factors that lead to extreme values include(More)
The anthropogenic nickel cycle for the year 2000 was analyzed using a material flow analysis at multiple levels: 52 countries, territories, or country groups, eight regions, and the planet. Special attention was given to the trade in nickel-containing products at different stages of the cycle. A new circular diagram highlights process connections, the role(More)
We are especially thankful to Christina Meskers, Umicore, for her valuable contributions to the manuscript. We are grateful for comments on earlier drafts of this report by J. Guido Sonnemann, UNEP, supervised the preparation of this report and provided valuable input and comments. Thanks go to Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker and Ashok Khosla as co-chairs of(More)
Because modern technology depends on reliable supplies of a wide variety of materials and because of increasing concern about those supplies, a comprehensive methodology was created to quantify the degree of criticality of the metals of the periodic table. In this paper, we apply this methodology to iron and several of its main alloying elements (i.e.,(More)
The energy used to produce austenitic stainless steel was quantified throughout its entire life cycle for three scenarios: (1) current global operations, (2) 100% recycling, and (3) use of only virgin materials. Data are representative of global average operations in the early 2000s. The primary energy requirements to produce 1 metric ton of austenitic(More)
Episodic supply shortages of metals and unsettling predictions of potential supply constraints in the future have led to a series of recent criticality evaluations. This study applies a consistent criticality methodology to the United States, Australia, and to the global level for both 2008 and 2012. It is the first time that criticality assessments are(More)
In some common uses metals are lost by intent-copper in brake pads, zinc in tires, and germanium in retained catalyst applications being examples. In other common uses, metals are incorporated into products in ways for which no viable recycling approaches exist, examples include selenium in colored glass and vanadium in pigments. To determine quantitatively(More)
In the metals industry, recycling is commonly included among the most viable options for climate change mitigation, because using secondary (recycled) instead of primary sources in metal production carries both the potential for significant energy savings and for greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Secondary metal production is, however, limited by the(More)