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One world essay on Metals

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One World Essay on Metals

Iron was needed since the first man and woman were created, but it was only developed and produced in bigger amounts since Iron Age. Starting back then we used iron in almost every single object, like weaponry, axes, shears, fences, cars, carts, boats, etc. and it’s not only the metal type iron that we use, we also have Iron in our bodies. The iron in our bodies is of course different from the type of iron we use in our everyday life, but it still contains the same number of electrons, protons and neutrons. In this essay I will consider advantages and limitations of iron with regards to economic and environmental factors. In this essay I will argue that iron improves the economy and offers many jobs.

Iron is known on the periodic table as Fe and its atom mass being 55.845. Obtaining iron is a global issue as it harms the environment and we are lacking resources of iron ore. According to How Stuff Works, earth’s crust is only 5% iron. The procedure of getting iron in a liquid form implies melting it at temperatures of 1535.0 °C or boiling it at a temperature of 2750.0 °C. Iron is used to create objects or tools like automobiles, machine tools, the hulls of large ships, building parts, doors, frames, machine parts, etc. Iron is also used for crafting stainless steel, which is a combination of iron with other metals. Automobiles and ships are very important, as they ensure transport across land and sea. Also, the reason people are using iron instead of wood for a car is that wood can burn while the engine is working because of the heat, while iron melts at very high temperatures, which a car will never meet. Iron doors are also very important, because they are safer and tougher, that is why military bases and bunkers use metal doors, because they can ensure more safety than wooden doors. Starting in 1910 there were 66,500,000 tons of iron produced in the whole world and in 2009 there were 935,000,000 tons of iron produced in the whole world. We can clearly see that the mass production has increased 14 times, which means that the necessity has increased. Iron also gives jobs like drill operators, plumbers, miners, technicians, rock breaker, blacksmiths, etc. In 2006, 612.6 thousand workers were employed.

Jobs are very important as they keep population’s morale up and the economy is rising. On one hand the advantages of iron are the relatively cheap price (Cost, pure: $7.2 per 100g; Cost, bulk: $0.02 per 100g), it’s malleable, conductive of heat and electricity and it can be used in industrial or artist way. But on the other hand, the disadvantages of iron are that it gets rusty easily in moisture air, because of oxidation. It is brittle unless it is combined with carbon, processing and mining takes a lot of energy and harms the environment. Even if buying iron is cheap and easy, the higher cost is our lives and our environment. When mining and extracting iron ore, big areas are dug out in a conical shape and when done, it is almost impossible to fill it back with soil. There is also great amounts of waste left of and gas elimination is not excluded. Water is also affected by acid mine drainage which is caused by many mining operations, in particular the extraction of iron, zinc copper, etc. Extraction is not the only factor that affects the environment. Melting the iron and getting into shape, eliminates CO2 and lots of waste. But an environmental advantage many people might not consider, is that it can be melted over and over again, avoiding more pollution. Iron, while it affects the environment negatively, it affects the economy positively. Iron is very cheap, easy to transport and sell.

For example, if Germany as the biggest iron trademark wants to sell Iron to USA, The iron just needs to be boarded and shipped to the destination. Iron can also be sold as an object, like a car or a mechanism. Iron, while improving a country’s economy, it is harming the country’s environment, that is why there should be a balance between them two. In conclusion iron affects our lives negatively and positively, and there should be a balance between them two. To make iron less harmful, we should melt the iron that is thrown out, to avoid more digging. Iron is also one of the most used metals worldwide and it is easy to ship and sell. And this makes it advantageous from economic factors. We should start recycling iron if we want to keep our resources.

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