Far-reaching governance of electrode potential: The case of priority in metal exploitationtal exploitation - Letter to Editor

Svetomir Hadži Jordanov


Is the priority applied during metals introduction in mankind’s ser­vice responsible for the forthcoming crisis in raw materials supply? Was the priority erroneous? To solve this dilemma, the relevant characteristics of GCIAL metals were compared, the acronym standing for gold, copper, iron, aluminum and lithium. These five metals were ranged according to: 1) the time of their incorporation in exploitation, 2) their abundance in the Earth’s crust, 3) reserves of mineral resources, 4) their stability and, partially, 5) the achieved level of mankind’s scientific highlights and technical expertise in that period. It was shown that the start of exploitation of the GCIAL metals does not correlate at all with their abundance, or their reserves in nature, but there is a straight correlation with their stability in the metallic state, as expressed by the corres­ponding values of the normal electrode potential. This is an expected behavior because the electrode potential is an alternative way of expressing the Gibbs energy change during the oxidation/reduction electrode reaction. Such a result also eliminates any doubt of error mentioned above. Thus, it is clear that the introduction of metals in human use was determined by their nature only and has nothing in common with insufficient abundance not only for the GCIAL metals, but probably for all other ‘technical metals’, the main pillars of our technical standard.


raw materials; metals in human use; abundance; stability; reserves

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2298/JSC190719086H

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