GeoDebates: minerals, economy and energy transition

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The geo-debate initiative aims to answer topics of scientific and social interes

The geo-debate initiative aims to answer topics of scientific and social interest and defend the importance of the knowledge on geology.

Is it possible to advance towards a resilient and sustainable society and economy if we do not reduce our energy and materials consumption? What are the key factors in the education of energy transition and digitalization? Will we consume as much energy in the future as we do today? Is a 100% renewable energy generation scenario feasible?

Tackling these controversies and changes of paradigm associated with the uses of energy resources is the aim of "Critical minerals and energy transition", the second session of GeoDeabtes launched at the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the University of Barcelona. The meeting will take place under a face-to-face and online format on June 14, at 6:00 p.m., in the Aula Magna Carmina Virgili of the faculty.

With the GeoDebates, the Faculty of Earth Sciences wants to place the focus of attention on issues of scientific and social interest and defend the diversity and relevance of knowledge on geology facing many social, environmental and economic challenges of the 21st century.

The energy transition and digitalization create a growing demand of minerals destined to the manufacturing of photovoltaic panels, wind mills, electronic compounds and batteries, among other devices. Apart from increasing the activity and value of mining globally, the growing demand has generated a new geopolitical and commercial framework associated with the decarbonization of economy. It is also necessary to solve recurring conflicts, such as the strong opposition to mining projects in Catalonia while we do not stop consuming the minerals that derive from them.

In this context, geology and biochemistry emerge as pivotal sciences for localizing and exploiting these natural resources. However, these are also essential disciplines to address these social and environmental challenges that derive from these processes, minimize their environmental impact and encourage materials recycling.

The participants in the second session of the GeoDebates are the following:

Joaquín A. Proenza , lecturer at the Department of Mineralogy, Petrology and Applied Geology of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the UB and expert on the field of mineral resources, specifically the exploration and modelling of mineral deposits. The study of conventional and unconventional mineral deposits is a work line that contributes to spreading the sources of raw materials critical to the energy transition.

Susana Timón , coordinator of the Research Group on Economic Geology of Mineral Resources of the Geological and Mining Institute of Spain (IGME-CSIC) and expert on the geology of metallic deposits, minerology and geochemistry.

Toni Dorado, chemical engineer and lecturer at the Department of Mining, Industrial and ICT Engineering of UPC. He is an expert on natural resources and environment, and coordinates Biometallum, a project on technology transfer which recovers metals from mobile phones and batteries for recycling using bacterial cultures.

Jordi Solé , lecturer at the Department of Earth and Ocean Dynamics at the Faculty of Earth Sciences of the UB. His research activity focuses on the study of the energy systems through models of integrated assessment models, complex systems and data analysis. He also works in the field of analysis of interactions between climate change and the use of necessary resources and materials for energy transition.

The session, which counts on the support from the Catalan Association of Scientific Communication (ACCC), will be live-streamed on the channel of the Faculty of Earth Sciences. Previous registration is not required to attend the meeting.

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