Author Archives: Andy McGee

Recycling

My materials blogs are about useful materials in the modern age. For the use of these to be sustainable we need to recycle as much as we can.  With China becoming more picky about what they will accept from us, … Read More

Copper

Copper has been used by humans for about 9000 years in its naturally occurring metal persona and has been smelted from ores in kilns for about 5000 years. Soon after that it was alloyed with tin and kick started the … Read More

Best thing since sliced bread – Plastic

(Not to be confused with short story of the same name published in the Feb 2019 edition of antisf magazine) Sliced bread dries out quicker and needs packaging to keep it fresh. The answer, that allowed sliced bread to take … Read More

Just call me Al – Materials -001

Aluminium is the third most abundant element in the earth’s crust after oxygen and silicon and is the most abundant metal. It has the chemical symbol Al.  Australia is the largest producer of aluminium ore, largely from its northern coast and … Read More

SA Elections – Final week summary – Part 6

So Who is doing What? Nuclear Fission Conservatives support it but no one else in SA. It is not a short term solution and highly likely to be a lot more expensive than other generation or superseded by nuclear fusion. … Read More

SA Elections – Part 5

Solar Thermal A new solar thermal plant with molten salt storage is currently being built in Port Augusta and is supported by all state parties and the Federal Government as far as I can determine. The system has a vast … Read More

SA Elections Energy (Party Policies) part 4

Government Policies First of all, a couple of new questions. What about geothermal, wave energy, hydrogen etc and the regular one, is coal cheaper than wind? Geothermal has not proved effective in SA, despite many attempts and hundreds of millions … Read More

SA Elections – Energy (other) Part 3

Additional Energy So we have renewables with storage backed up by gas, but can we do better? Connect to Interstate We currently have two electricity interconnectors to Victoria (Heywood and Murraylands) and these were a major part of the breakdown … Read More

SA Elections – Energy (Renewables) Part 2

  So we only produce small amount of oil and have to import it, we have no good quality, easily accessible coal but we have plenty of gas. Why don’t we just use gas for everything?  We could generate electricity, … Read More

SA Elections – Energy (Fossil Fuels) Part 1

With the elections coming up in South Australia, energy issues are a big ticket item with politics obfuscating informed knowledge. I will attempt a non-political review of the options for SA and their pros and cons.  Many of the basics … Read More