Nickel deposits are typically found in low-grade ores (1-2% nickel) thus making it highly energy intensive to extract and refine the metal. This leads to high emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and the use of large amounts of energy derived predominantly from fossil fuels (1). In a recent analysis, nickel was ranked as the 7th most damaging metal to human health and ecosystems.
Sources: (1) T. E. Norgate, S. Jahanshahi, W. J. Rankin, J. Clean. Prod. 15, 838–848 (2007).
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