Nickel day at! (with free desalination cartoons for those who read until the end!)

The Big Nickel in the Nickel City

The Big Nickel in the Nickel City

Pop quiz: What’s the “hidden metal”? If you answered “nickel,” you’re right, but how did you know, and what the heck does it mean? Based on its web site’s banner, The Nickel Institute knows–and I bet they’d tell you for a nickel.

The banner also states that the modest mineral is the “ubiquitous metal” and the “enviro-metal!” The trade organization’s online journal, creatively named Nickel Magazine, is a treasure chest spilling over with nickel nomenclature and knowledge, including this article about nickel’s profitable place in the future of desalination technology.

The article is targeted at nickel industry insiders who can’t get enough comparative data about nickel alloys, so it’s really not for anyone who’s read this far and still thinks a nickel is just five cents and what’s the fuss. Not surprisingly, the writer concludes that currently available data “. . .confirms nickel-containing alloys as both essential and in growing demand for the complex industrial process of making potable water from seawater.”

The image is of the aptly named Big Nickel, a landmark of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, nickelnamed the Nickel City. The city of 160,000 or so inhabitants modestly traces its history back 2-billion years, when the area it occupies was ground zero for what is possibly the planet’s largest and most catastrophic meterorite hit. But there’s always a silver lining, or in this case nickel plating: The meteorite kicked up massive amounts of subterranean minerals–including one that the reader is possibly tiring of–kindly leaving it for the fine folks of Subbury to mine, once they evolved, became civilized, and developed technology.

A brief NPR segment from August 2007, that discusses the state of desalination in the state of California. A basic–maybe too basic–introduction to the concept of reverse osmosis.

An article about desalination in Australia on, by Sherry Obenaur.  Good because it presents a pretty comprehensive list of both the pros and cons.

Desalination cartoons. Really.


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