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Making the Modern World - Materials and Dematerialization


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Table of Contents

Preface: Why and How ix 1. What Gets Included 1 2. How We Got Here 7 2.1 Materials Used by Organisms 8 2.2 Materials in Prehistory 11 2.3 Ancient and Medieval Materials 15 2.4 Materials in the Early Modern Era 22 2.5 Creating Modern Material Civilization 27 2.6 Materials in the Twentieth Century 34 3. What Matters Most 45 3.1 Biomaterials 46 3.2 Construction Materials 52 3.3 Metals 57 3.4 Plastics 62 3.5 Industrial Gases 65 3.6 Fertilizers 70 3.7 Materials in Electronics 72 4. How the Materials Flow 77 4.1 Material Flow Accounts 79 4.2 America?s Material Flows 83 4.3 European Balances 87 4.4 Materials in China?s Modernization 90 4.5 Energy Cost of Materials 94 4.6 Life-Cycle Assessments 103 4.7 Recycling 111 5. Are We Dematerializing? 119 5.1 Apparent Dematerializations 120 5.2 Relative Dematerializations: Specific Weight Reductions 122 5.3 Consequences of Dematerialization 129 5.4 Relative Dematerialization in Modern Economies 137 5.5 Declining Energy Intensities 143 5.6 Decarbonization and Desulfurization 150 6. Material Outlook 157 6.1 Natural Resources 158 6.2 Wasting Less 165 6.3 New Materials and Dematerialization 168 6.4 Chances of Fundamental Departures 173 Appendix A Units and Unit Multiples 181 Appendix B US Material Production, GDP and Population, 1900?2005 183 Appendix C Global Population, Economic Product, and Production of Food, Major Materials, and Fuels 1900?2010 185 Appendix D Global Energy Cost of Major Materials in 2010 187 Appendix E 189 References 191 Index 223

About the Author

VACLAV SMIL, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Manitoba, Canada


Summing Up: Recommended. Academic, general, andprofessional readers. (Choice, 1 October2014) Vaclav Smil keeps turning out amazing books.Making the Modern World, I just finished, and it s prettyfantastic. (Interview with Bill Gates, 22January 2014) This makes the book particularly suitable for students,and not just those in obviously-related disciplines: it s agood example of fact-based reasoning, one material we can alwaysuse more of. (Chemistry & Industry, 1January 2014)

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