Today I want to talk about ecology, in a very unorthodox manner, as I always do with any subject. There is one very necessary practice in the metallurgy all over the world: slag dumping. Of course, our cherished environmentalist buzz-makers know nothing about that, because steel and copper, just like coffee and croissants, grow on trees. And it is much better to keep them at their present state of ignorance, as long as we want a serious, intelligent, and productive discussion on the topic.
First of all, there is nothing wrong with the metallurgy in general and the slag in particular. However, there is some room for a significant improvement that benefits our «environment», unlike bullshit «carbon taxes» or «wind turbines». In order to understand the basics of the problem watch any of the «slag dump» videos on youtube, like this one www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKOENNXsSBQ
This «molten lava» is slag, an inevitable byproduct of any metallurgical process. It has no use in the industry, it contains no precious components, and it has to be removed from furnaces, in order to keep them running.
The first thing that must strike you as you see the action is: «what a waste of energy!!!» Indeed, slag is hellishly hot, where «hot» means two important properties: abundant and high potential, which makes the energy easily CONVERTIBLE. But, hold on, this shit is solid under normal conditions. When you extract energy from molten slag it will solidify, incapacitating any conceivable heat exchanger.
Let's apply some IT reasoning here. While it is difficult to take energy away, how about taking an energy consumer in? Picture that, you have to heat something, so you mix it into hot slag. The output will very likely to be total garbage… Yes! GARBAGE! Put garbage in, melt it by the heat contained in the slag, and then shape it in building bricks, or fillers, or whatever you need to build artificial islands…
In the end you get a pretty normal solid waste processing plant running on free energy.