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I. B Fernandes, A. A Llamas, and M. A Reuter (2020)

Simulation-Based Exergetic Analysis of NdFeB Permanent Magnet Production to Understand Large Systems

JOM, 72:2754-2769.

Metallurgical simulation and evaluation of the resource efficiency of whole production processes are of key importance for sound environmental impact assessments. Exergy dissipation analysis is suitable to quantify the theoretical limits of a process and pinpoint hotspots for improvements along the value chain. Production of NdFeB permanent magnets is evaluated herein using a simulation-based life cycle assessment and exergetic analysis, including 107 unit operations, 361 flows, and 209 compounds. This methodology highlights areas with the greatest potential for improvements in terms of technology and environmental impact, shedding light on the true resource efficiency and minimum exergy dissipation for the production of permanent magnets, which are applied in several low-carbon technologies. The maximum exergy efficiency of 60.7% shows that there is a limit on sustainability, which could however be improved via technological improvements and recovery of waste streams, revealing the inconvenient truth that the resource efficiency will never reach 100%.

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

The Material Limits of Energy Transition: Thanatia

Antonio Valero Capilla, Alicia Valero Delgado and Guiomar Calvo

This book provides a holistic view of raw mineral depletion in the context of renewable energy transistion.

The material limits Thanatia


Thanatia. Los límites minerales del planeta

mites minerales del planeta

 Antonio Valero Capilla and Alicia Valero Delgado interviewed by Adrián Almazán

We need a material transition, not only energetic, that restores nature and effectively reuses materials. Gaia must be cared for by extending life on Earth and slowing its degradation towards Thanatia.

Thanatia los limites


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.