Welcome to the Exergoecology Portal
You are here: Home / Resources / Exergoecology bibliography / Colombian mineral resources: An analysis from a Thermodynamic Second Law perspective

Luis G Carmona, Kai Whiting, Alicia Valero, and Antonio Valero (2015)

Colombian mineral resources: An analysis from a Thermodynamic Second Law perspective

Resources Policy, 45:23–28.

Abstract Natural non-renewable resources, such as minerals, are becoming increasingly depleted against a backdrop of intense industrialisation. Through the exergy analysis and thermoeconomic tools it is possible to assign a figure to the degree of depletion. This is because the exergy replacement cost represents the effort needed by humankind to return minerals to their original conditions from the "commercially dead state", Thanatia. The authors undertake an evaluation of the ten most significantly produced minerals in Colombia, since 1990. Via the 2011 mineral balance, this paper shows that the highest exergetic losses are in the extraction for export and not national consumption rates. The loss in mineral wealth, quantified in exergy terms for 2011 is 119.2 Mtoe (4.99–109 GJ) and has, since 1990, accumulated to 1,543.4 Mtoe (6.46–1010 GJ). In converting these losses into economic terms, it becomes clear that the nation must re-think its mineral export strategy, if it is develop sustainably.

Exergy, Thermoeconomics, Mineral depletion, Colombia, Thanatia

Document Actions


Please subscribe for the new newsletter.

Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Ulysea S.L. - Informática

Thermodynamics for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Cover Thermodynamics

Wojciech Stanek (Editor)

This book examines ways of assessing the rational management of nonrenewable resources. Integrating numerous methods, it systematically exposes the strengths of exergy analysis in resources management.

Thanatia: The Destiny of the Earth's Mineral Resources

Cover Thanatia

A Thermodynamic Cradle-to-Cradle Assessment by (author): Antonio Valero Capilla and Alicia Valero Delgado

Is Gaia becoming Thanatia, a resource exhausted planet? For how long can our high-tech society be sustained in the light of declining mineral ore grades, heavy dependence on un-recycled critical metals and accelerated material dispersion? These are all root causes of future disruptions that need to be addressed today.