OPEN THREAD 20191221

Basically, all legal free speech is allowed. We will assist the authorities in dealing with illegal speech. You are each other’s moderators. Have fun. And don’t forget to MAGA at nuclear levels.

Citizen U

Day 45 – RHODIUM.

7 thoughts on “OPEN THREAD 20191221

  1. Rhodium is an extremely rare element, with worldwide production being approximately 30 tonnes. It is one of only five metals that kitco tracks — https://www.kitco.com/charts/rhodium.html — showing that it’s currently at about $5550 an ounce (presumably a troy ounce).

    Its main exporter is South Africa (about 80%) followed by Russia.

    You can tell that the Wikipedia authors are not accountants, because they fling numbers around that just don’t go together. Admittedly, part of it is because they pull numbers for different sections out of reports from different years, but…… They say that worldwide production is 30 tonnes, 80% from SA (24 tonnes). Then they say that 30 tonnes are consumed in a year, 24 tonnes of which went into catalytic converters, half a tonne went into the glass industry, and a tonne went into the chemical industry. Sandwiched into the middle of this was the observation that four tonnes were recovered from old catalytic converters.

    Well, that’s rather a lot, isn’t it? There’s only six tonnes that doesn’t come from SA, and I can’t imagine that SA has much of a recycling business, being as they are at the bottom edge of the back side of nowhere and shipping costs would be a major problem. And the original production figures say that Russia is the #2 player — that would make sense if they were recycling a substantial portion of the converters out there, but how are you “major” in a market of 30 if 24 and 4 are already taken?

    So, let’s try, “30 tonnes are produced and 4 tonnes are recycled”….but, then they say that only 30 tonnes are consumed. Are the rest stockpiled?

    While I’m getting the feeling that I’m not going to solve this tonight, it lead me to a number of intriguing rabbit holes:
    1. https://pgmrecoverysystems.com/companies-that-are-not-refiners/ — “World leaders for wet chemistry refining of auto catalyst are Johnson-Matthey, Heraeus, BASF, and UMICORE.” (These guys recommend you pull the guts out).
    2. https://www.converterguys.com/catalytic-converter-scrap-prices/ — “Small Foreign Cat -82$-97$ each” (These guys recommend you never pull the guts out).
    3. https://recyclinginside.com/recycle-metals/how-much-is-a-catalytic-converter-worth-in-scrap/ — who never answer the question.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. For those of us who grew up in the Los Angeles area during the 1960s, there were all sorts of places you could go for some family entertainment. Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Pacific Ocean Park in Santa Monica, the Griffith Observatory, the LA Zoo……..and Marineland of the Pacific.

    Marineland operated from 1954 to 1987. It had dolphin shows, orca shows, pilot whale shows, seal shows, and featured large aquariums that Hollywood often used for various underwater scenes. It was one of the inspirations that led me to get SCUBA certified in the 90s.

    One of the concerns with oceanariums of this type was that the relatively short-lived dolphins would take years to get trained to show-level standards and shortly thereafter reach the end of their lifespans. They were popular and spectacular, but the economics were right on a knife-edge.

    One of the dolphin trainers was also a recreational rock climber, and would clamber around the local cliffs for fun. On one such excursion, he encountered a seabird fledgeling that had fallen out of its cliffside nest. He took it home and tried to nurse it back to health, but it was too far gone and was gone by the next morning. On a weird whim, he took it to work and tossed it into the dolphin dormitory tank.

    To his surprise, when he brought the dolphins out to the performance tank that afternoon, one looked significantly younger…..but performed like a fully trained and experienced dolphin. This got him thinking, and experimenting. He determined that he could feed any performing dolphin an unfledged seabird and the dolphin would appear to shed two years of biological age, and it appeared that there was no limit on how often he could do this. He developed a route from the employee-only areas of Marineland, through an adjacent residential property, to the cliffs, and collected birds daily. When there weren’t enough at the foot of the cliffs, he’d climb them and pull chicks from nests, though he knew that was wrong.

    One day, he was startled by a change in his accustomed route coming back from the cliffs. On the residential path that he usually travelled, there was a live puma, secured by chains on each leg. It seemed pretty comfortable and was probably well-fed…..being asleep. And there was a small wooden footbridge that went over the puma to the gap in Marineland’s fence.

    As one can well imagine, this was unexpected — and he sussed it out as best he could. Eventually, though, he took his parcel of plundered birds over the bridge and was promptly confronted with forty-six Federal agents and a CNN camera crew. He was taken into custody with the charge of transporting illicitly procured underage gulls across a stayed lion for immortal porpoises.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I once saw a chess set for sale. The pieces were plastic but somehow plated with rhodium (for white) and ruthenium (for black). Rhodium is so bright and shiny people sometimes get their crap jewelry plated with it to make it look brighter, while ruthenium tends to be a darker gray.

    Pretty neat set; had it not been so doggone expensive I might have bought it.

    Liked by 1 person

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