15% of the global energy consumption is spent on chemical processing. These processes aim at purifying certain substances out of mixtures, and the most common method is through heating and distillation. The vast majority of these purifying processes are done on crude oil to separate the various useful hydrocarbons. Alternatives exist for accomplishing this goal while using only 10% of the energy of distillation practices. Little research has been done to fully flesh out these alternatives, though.
Nuclear power is crucial for future generations, and crude oil is running out. Current estimates on the lifespan of our uranium reserves have them expiring within a century. To better fuel our need for energy well into the future, we will need to establish a cost-effective process to separate uranium from seawater. The amount of uranium in the oceans is roughly 0 times the amount we have left in our geological reserves.
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