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Tribology and Lubrication Technology May 2016 : Page 35

met with relatively inexpensive crude oil that they themselves produce. So-called Third World developing nations will have a significant boost in the quality and timing of their own development. I hope they will use this boost wisely. Because of crude oil’s high energy density and now growing availability, energy from crude oil will be around for a very long time. Thus, some of the implications are that wind turbines, so-lar panels, possibly coal and the burn-ing of our food (ethanol from corn) could either go away or shrink back into specialized or niche markets where they still have economic viability. Addi-tionally one would expect a more rapid growth in global energy consumption from crude oil, especially in develop-ing, pro-growth oriented countries. One of the obvious negative impli-cations of this will be rapidly increasing pollution from crude oil-derived energy generation. This primarily will be in the form of thermal and carbon pollution. We have the technology to knock down most of the potential other pollutants if we have the will. However, we need to rapidly fund research in how to manage thermal pollution and carbon capture and recycling. NSF says they only want to fund projects that have the potential to “Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering” through its funding activity. Well, here’s an opportunity to do just that. This will need some seri-ous attention—we are not close. Another possible scenario is the development of battery technology to enable widespread use of electric vehicles. Imagine if we had a techno-logical breakthrough in battery tech-nology comparable to fracking. The effect could be reducing pollution from millions of mobile, small-point source polluters, leaving us to focus on large, static polluters in the power industry. This is an easier problem to solve and manage if we also can have a breakthrough technology in carbon capture and recycling. Again, battery technology is another opportunity for organizations like NSF to fund a tech-nological transformation. So the crude oil industry likely will have a long-term, busy global future as they “Drill, Baby, Drill.” Meanwhile, the rest of us have some catching up to do. Of course for the community of tribologists and lubrication engineers, we necessarily will have a role to play developing and implementing enabling technologies to help bring the needed pollution control technologies into re-ality, and who knows what else. REFERENCES 1. Luskin, D.L. (2016), “The reces-sion caused by low oil prices.” Available at the-recession-caused-by-low-oil-prices-1452211556 . Bob Gresham is STLE’s director of professional development. You can reach him at Materials Performance & Protection Solutions for a Changing World Lonza offers a broad portfolio of products to meet the challenges of the metal working fluid formulator. Our customers benefit from our regulatory and technical expertise, and Lonza is committed to offering next generation products that can stand up to changing regulatory standards around the world. Consult us for: – Preservation Technologies – Metal Treatment – Platforms for Corrosion Inhibition Visit Lonza at booth #111 to learn more about our specialty products E: their Votes for Women petition. Two chained themselves to the railings of the palace. 35

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