Raw material

Sulfur at harbor, ready to be loaded onto a ship
Latex being collected from a tapped rubber tree

A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce goods, finished products, energy, or intermediate materials which are feedstock for future finished products. As feedstock, the term connotes these materials are bottleneck assets and are highly important with regard to producing other products. An example of this is crude oil, which is a raw material and a feedstock used in the production of industrial chemicals, fuels, plastics, and pharmaceutical goods; lumber is a raw material used to produce a variety of products including all types of furniture.[1] The term "raw material" denotes materials in minimally processed or unprocessed in states; e.g., raw latex, crude oil, cotton, coal, raw biomass, iron ore, air, logs, or water i.e. "any product of agriculture, forestry, fishing and any other mineral that is in its natural form or which has undergone the transformation required to prepare it for internationally marketing in substantial volumes."[2]

While pottery originated in many different points around the world, it is certain that it was brought to light mostly through the Neolithic revolution. This mostly important due to this material's ability to store and carry a surplus of supplies for the first agrarian. Although most of these jars and pots were fire-clay ceramics, the Neolithic communities created kilns that were able to fire these materials in order to remove most of the water to create very stable and hard materials. Without the clay from the ground from this region, the Neolithic revolution would have never grew as it has in the past. Using these kilns, the process of metallurgy was possible once the ages of Bronze and Iron came upon the people that lived there.[3]

Many raw metallic materials used in industrial purposes must first be processed into a useable state. Metallic ores are first processed through a combination of crushing, roasting, magnetic separation, flotation, and leaching to make them suitable for use in a foundry. Foundries then smelt the ore into usable metal that may be alloyed with other materials to improve certain properties. [4] One metallic raw material that is commonly found across the world is iron, and when combined with nickel, this material makes up over 35% of the material in the Earth's inner and outer core. [5] The iron that was initially used as early as 4000 B.C. was called meteoric iron and was found on the surface of the earth, as this type of iron came from the meteorites that struck the earth before the humans appeared and was in very limited supply. This type of iron is unlike most of the iron in the earth, as the iron in the earth was much deeper than the humans of that time period were able to excavate. Due to the nickel content of the meteoric iron, it did not need to be heated up and instead, was hammered and shaped into tools and weapons.[6] Metallic raw materials on earth are very close to running out. We currently live in a throwaway economy, which means that we hardly ever reuse the materials that are found in the earth, and unless this changes, we have a very limited amount of time before we run out of certain materials from the earth. Between lead, tin, copper, iron ore, and bauxite there is, at most, 70 years left before we start running out of these metallic unless for more readily available veins of materials are found in the near future.[7]

Vyasanakere Iron Ore Mine

Iron ore[edit]

Iron ore can be found in a multitude of forms and sources. The primary forms of iron ore today are Hematite and Magnetite. While iron ore can be found though out the world, only the deposits in the order of millions of tonnes are processed for industrial purposes.[8] The top five exporters of Iron ore are Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, and Ukraine.[9] One of the first sources of iron ore is Bog Iron. Bog iron takes the form of pea sized nodules that are created under peat bogs at the base of mountains.[10]

Places with plentiful raw materials and little economic development often show a phenomenon, known as "Dutch disease" or the "resource curse", that occurs when the economy of a country is mainly based upon its exports due to its method of governance.[11] An example of this is the Democratic Republic of Congo as it is rich in raw materials; the Second Congo War focused on controlling these raw materials.[12]

Raw materials are also used by non-humans, such as birds using found objects and twigs to create nests.

  1. ^ Wolf, Jakob (15 January 2010). Schnellkurs HGB-Jahresabschluss: Das neue Bilanzrecht: Richtig vorgehen — erfolgreich umstellen. Walhalla Fachverlag. p. 90. ISBN 978-3-8029-3436-0.
  2. ^ Christophe Degryse, L'économie en 100 et quelques mots d'actualité, De Boeck, 2005, p. 140.
  3. ^ James E. McClellan III; Harold Dorn (2006). Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction. JHU Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8360-6. p. 21.
  4. ^ "Materials processing". Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  5. ^ Morgan, John W. & Anders, Edward (1980). "Chemical composition of Earth, Venus, and Mercury". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 77 (12): 6973–77. Bibcode:1980PNAS...77.6973M. doi:10.1073/pnas.77.12.6973. PMC 350422. PMID 16592930.
  6. ^ Understanding materials science, p. 125, Rolf E. Hummel, Springer, 2004
  7. ^ https://archive.org/stream/planb20rescuingp00brow#page/108/mode/2up
  8. ^ "Mineral Information Institute - IRON ORE". web.archive.org. 2006-04-17. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  9. ^ Workman, Daniel (2018-12-08). "Iron Ore Exports by Country". World's Top Exports. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  10. ^ "Hurstwic: Iron Production in the Viking Age". www.hurstwic.org. Retrieved 2019-03-17.
  11. ^ Bernard Tchibambelela, Le commerce mondial de la faim: stratégie de rupture positive au Congo-Brazzaville, Éditions L'Harmattan, 2009, p. 183.
  12. ^ Pascal Boniface, La géopolitique: Les relations internationales, Éditions Eyrolles et tout le monde s'en fou, 2011.

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