Sample Geography Paper on Worldwide Waste


Copper is one of the metals used widely globally, it is extracted through various steps involving technologies such as hydrometallurgy that was first used in China. Also, it was first extracted in Sweden. The metal posse’s different raw components and consist of Malachite, chalcopyrite, and chalcocite (Cu 2 S,) and Cuprites (Cu 2 O,) (Uauy et al) among others. The above metal is used to form electrical appliances and motors since it is a good conductor of heat and electricity. The old product of copper is recycled to conserve its ore. Therefore, this paper focuses on the true cost of using copper right from extraction, development, and uses.

Copper extraction

Copper is one of the important metals used worldwide today but at first, people never knew more about copper. However, copper can easily be extracted right from its ore, for instance, it was first extracted in Swedish whereby the sulfide ore was baked and mixed with water to isolate the copper sulphate which is flowed through the iron filings to allow it to precipitate (Yruela 145). Therefore, the Swedish realized that this metal can be easily extracted and used in different areas. As a result, copper became the main source of income for Sweden.

According to Davi Barceloux and Donald, G China came up with a technology known as hydrometallurgy which was the method used for copper extraction. In this case, copper sulphate undergoes reaction with iron to form iron sulphate and copper just as shown in the reaction below:


(Uauy et al)

After the above discoveries people began to notice the importance of copper and therefore, many individuals made different artifacts from this metal. The materials made from copper are normally soft, flexible, and can easily get tarnished (Joseph). On the other hand, some people thought of making copper-tin alloy (Bronze) whereby they immersed the intended tin into copper to get the named tin. The tin is dipped into copper to make it hard and durable. Though it is costly, its durability makes it more marketable.


In the world, today copper is developed and used for different purposes for instance it is used in electronic industries to make electrical appliances since it is a good insulator. Additionally, copper is used in different firms namely: light, machinery manufacturing, construction, and transportation industries (Davi and Donald 281). Therefore, the copper industry has developed rapidly since the mining of copper is done globally. The copper market is increasing with the rise in its usage also, its prices are growing daily. Nevertheless, copper is widely developed and used due to its sustainability, reliability, and efficiency. According to Yruela (145) copper is found in the sedimentary layer and extracted from high temperatures of the volcanic magma

Copper technology

The early copper industry is found in the United States where very rich minerals containing copper were found. However, the technology that was employed in extracting copper is referred to as the floatation process which was used in the late nineteenth century (Joseph). The process involves different stages such as flash melting, electrorefining, Solvent extraction, electrowinning, and continuous casting.

Flash smelting

Under this stage the waste material is removed from the ore, the remnants of copper are taken through many chemical reaction stages to isolate iron and sulfur from copper. The copper is then taken through the electrorefining process to refine it before it proceeds to the next step.


Under this stage, a chemical substance known as Gullotine is used to refine copper by separating it from the stainless steel or titanium. During this process anodes and cathodes are used in the separation of this metal though the whole process is automated hence human labour is limited; this largely reduces the cost of labour.

Solvent extraction

Copper solvent extraction is done at a lower cost since drip irrigation devices are used to distribute acidic water in the copper ore for over 60 foot high. The acidic water is allowed to circulate as it dissolves the copper which then flows to the collection path and directed to the solvent extraction plant. The solution is then mixed with a kerosene-based solvent. The resultant solvent is mixed with an aqueous solution; it is then filtered and pumped to the electrowinning tank.


Copper is then deposited into the copper cathode starting sheet for close to seven days. After then, the electrowon copper is produced that meets the standard of the electrolyte cathode copper. The electrowon copper together with the electrofined copper is sold especially in the world’s metal exchanges…

Continuous casting

The continuous wire rod technology is an innovation used in copper technology and it is used to mould copper into continuous wire rod. The rod formed from this technology is used in electronic industries to make electrical wires and cables.

Raw components of copper

Copper is one of the metals that are rarely found in nature therefore it is normally combined with other chemicals in the form of copper ores. There are many copper ores mined commercially in different countries. However, the most known sulfide ores whereby copper undergoes a chemical reaction and bonds with sulfur. Other copper ores contain components of gold, silver, nickel among others (Yruela). The discussed raw components are affordable hence cost-effective in different countries. Even for that, the most common sulfide ore is the yellow copper ore (CuFeS 2 ) also called chalcopyrite and chalcocite (Cu 2 S,). Other ores are Cuprites (Cu 2 O,), Malachite Cu(OH) 2 •CuCO 3  and Azurite Cu(OH) 2 •2CuCO 3  among others(Davi, and  Donald  278). Apart from that, the chemicals that are used to refine copper are not limited to oxygen, iron, and sulphuric acid among others.

How raw components of copper are used to form objects

Copper is mainly extracted from oxide and sulfide ores. However, the copper mined from the ore is concentrated to absolve itself from unwanted materials. Sulfide ore consists of yellow copper ore, Chalcocite, Malachite, and Azurite among others. Yellow copper ore is used mainly to make pieces of jewelry since it is shiny and attractive. Additionally, Malachite is used to form beads, ornamental objects, and tumbled stones. Also, Chocolate is used to make electrical appliances since it is a good insulator. Azurite is used as a pigment in blue paint. In the past, most people were not aware of the fact that copper can be used to make objects just as it is done today. However, today copper raw components are used to form different objects just as discussed. The objects formed in this case are affordable hence marketable in various parts of the world.

Labour and fuels used in copper extraction

Both mechanization and the use of human labour are employed during copper mining and processing. Copper undergoes through different stages involving chemical reactions before pure coppers are achieved just as discussed above. The mining and extraction require the use of finances and this seems to be expensive hence not affordable to some members of the community or industries.



Uses of copper

Copper is used to making electrical equipment, for example, it is used in wiring and a motor because it is a good insulator, conducts both heat and electricity. Copper is important since it can be used to make wires. Also, it is used in construction mainly during plumbing and roofing. Additionally, it is used to make heat exchangers in industrial machines since it is a good conductor of heat. Therefore, copper is one of the best metals that has enabled different countries to develop economically since the materials formed from this metal are marketable and earn the world a lot of money.

The finished product of copper

The finished products of coppers are recycled and the products used to make some more useful items. It is normally cheaper to recycle the old copper than undergoing the whole process of mining. Recycling conserves the copper ore which can be used to form different objects as discussed above. The recycled copper is closely the same price as the original one.  Therefore, people should continue using copper because it makes life easy as it is used to form other products used daily life and it is durable. Recycling is vital since it conserves the environment hence good health to the surrounding animals and people.


Copper is beneficial in the world economy since it is used to form various products that earn various country’s income. For instance, copper is used for making electric appliances since it is a good conductor of electricity. Also, it is used in motor engines because it is the best conductor of heat. On the other hand, the raw components of these products are used to make various items that are not limited to jewelry. The old copper is not disposed of but instead recycled to form other useful products. Therefore, the use of copper is beneficial to people worldwide since its products are affordable and can be recycled. Therefore, copper use is recommended for everyone worldwide.



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The American journal of clinical nutrition 67.5 (2018): 952S-959S.

Yruela, Inmaculada. “Copper in plants.” Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology 17.1 (2015): 145-