It has been estimated that in 2023, the global market for copper could reach as high as $172 billion. The demand for the precious metal has been on the upswing in recent years and its rise in popularity is expected to continue as more valuable uses for the substance is uncovered.
Industry insiders say there are five major reasons that copper is poised to play a critical role in the global future of technology and industry.
The sustainability of the environment has taken on an increased priority with the global community in recent years. This phenomenon is reflected by the attitudes and business practices of many manufacturers. It makes sense that environmentally conscious manufacturers would choose a metal like copper when two-thirds of the metal that has been produced since the dawn of the 20th century is still in use today.
The ability to recycle copper makes it more favorable for pollution reduction than materials such as plastic and wood. Copper also plays a role in the recycling of nickel, gold, and silver.
More than eight million tons of copper is recycled on an annual basis across the globe.
Officials and workers in the healthcare industry have become increasingly concerned in recent years by the rising instances of antibiotic resistances that are placing the global community at greater risk for a variety of infections.
This makes copper an ideal material to use in the construction of schools, hospitals, and other public places due to its natural anti-microbial properties. This benefit of the metal has been known since ancient time and both Babylonian and Egyptian soldiers would use copper filings to disinfect wounds after battle.
Science has shown that copper surfaces release ions that negate the ability for cell respiration in the cellular membrane of bacteria.
An Electric Planet
The International Energy Agency published a report in 2017 showing that many areas of the world that was previously limited to having their energy needs met by fossil fuels are now becoming electrified.
The result of this electrification is countless additional appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, and others that are powered by electrical currents. A large percentage of this electricity will be both transported and delivered by copper.
The Green Movement
Architects are seemingly following the examples set by the energy and automotive industries by choosing to make use of copper to lessen the impact on the environment when designing new constructions. This has been especially true in North American architecture where copper is being used on a large scale to make buildings more durable while remaining conscious of sustainability issues.
The ability of copper to resist the effects of corrosion also makes it useful in preventing buildings from being damaged by weather conditions.
The International Copper Association advises that the next decade will see 27 million additional electric and hybrid vehicles added to the road. The vehicles will spur a demand of more than 600,000 tons of copper that will be needed for the production of the batteries that will power the engines for these vehicles.
By all accounts, Copper’s value to technology and industry will continue to increase for a number of reasons. The above list of five is but a few examples of why the precious metal is of such importance to the innovative product development of the future.
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