Archive for the ‘Precious Metals’ Category

A year and a quarter ago, “Tech Metals Insider” launched on Kitco News. What started with the innocent question: “what would happen to precious metals if we all drove electric cars” has become a roller coaster ride into the worlds of energy generation, nuclear fission, transmutation, electronics, and many more. As I was informed by Kitco, my series is enjoying steadily increasing popularity, which is why it was now moved from the “Contributed Commentaries” to the “News” section further up on the website.

As happy as I am with this development, there are a few downsides, too: apart from confusion to readers who will not find my articles where they used to be, news items in this section of the website rotate more quickly, meaning that my articles will not stay on the homepage for an entire week. They drop below the fold after about two days where they are harder to find. Here is how to get to my column:

Once an article is published, you will find it labeled “Featured” on the homepage:



Afterwards, my reports can be found either by clicking “more news” and scrolling down, or via this direct link which takes you to the archive of all articles I have written so far (it may take a second or two to scroll to my name). Sorry about the inconvenience. I think it will be all for the better in the long run – we’ll see.

Many thanks to all of you who took an interest in my series, and to those who wrote in response to my sometimes controversial topics. I will continue to respond to all reader mail unless it is anonymous or contains personal insults – happy to report that there were VERY few of those so far. Have fun with the fascinating world of technology metals in 2015.

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“Metal Chemistry – Exponential Developments that Shape our Future”

AIChE Logo

Presentation at the 8th Annual Energy and Resources Conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, New York Metro Section on September 15, 2014. Information is available here: http://www.aiche-metrony.org/2014%20Energy%20Conf%20flyer.pdf


“Automotive Catalysts – A Swan Song”

Presentation at the Fall Seminar of the International Precious Metals Institute, New York Chapter, on September 17, 2014. For information click here: http://www.ipmi.org/chap_mnyc/

Looking forward to seeing you at one of these events, or at any time during Platinum Week.

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Degussa PforzheimCongratulations to my friends at Degussa on their new precious metals refinery in Pforzheim, Germany. History has gone full circle. Proud and grateful to be part of it. Here is a link to their original press release.

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Earlier this week my article on a modern day alchemist was published on KITCO News. It was one of the more fun articles to produce; initiated through a contact on LinkedIn and after several rounds of me guaranteeing fairness and secrecy, my interview partner Lewis Larsen was finally prepared to talk to me. I don’t blame him since he never met me. In reality, I was curious in what I like to think of as an open-minded way I generally approach “impossible” things with. At the end, Lewis was very pleased with the product, and gave his permission to publish it.

cropped-etween-lead-and-gold.jpgI also have to admit that alchemy and transmutations are things I first encountered in one of my fantasy computer games of old. Was it “Dungeon Siege”? Remember my old blog banner “From Lead to Gold” by GARD? I only retired it a few months ago. Anyway, I think we all more or less make the association of transmutation and mythological stories. So I was surprised to read all the background material provided by Lewis, read several more articles on the internet, and finally talk to someone who, instead of wearing a pointy hat (metaphorically speaking, I didn’t meet him in person), explained to me in rather logic and reasonable terms why transmutation is quite real and natural.

Quite fascinating, especially as precious metals are created as a “by the way” of producing very low cost energy through a low energy fusion process. Two unbelievable technologies in one box made the entire concept even more incomprehensible. But I, being the magician’s apprentice only of course, was unable to find much on the web disproving the idea beyond sarcasm and dismissive statements of a general nature. So why not? Now that the article has been out for a few days I am still waiting for reader mail debunking the story. Au contraire, a second alchemist wrote to me explaining how this was all old news. He is currently looking for money on Kickstarter to fund the scale-up of his own patent-pending process. I can’t help but admire anyone explaining in all seriousness how he is capable of transmuting silica (a.k.a. glass) into gold and iridium.

What an amazing encounter. What do you think? Alchemy: myth or possible?

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As part of my “Tech Metals Insider” column on KITCO News I just released the first part of a segment drilling deeper into which metals are used where, and in what quantities. To make it as user friendly as possible I condensed the information collected over the past six months into one spreadsheet which is available for download here: Technology metals in passenger cars part 1. As a faithful reader of my personal blog you have preferred access – I will post a link to the official article as soon as it was published.

Tech Mets in Cars Title

Part 2 will deal with the many little helpers, fairies and gremlins in our cars that we don’t even think about anymore. Should be even more fun than this one so please check back for it next week. And before I forget, this previously published picture might be useful to provide additional context.

this picture

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Another week again? Creating one article per week doesn’t sound impressive but it sure is a lot of work. The final product being just the tip of the iceberg; what you don’t see is the research for and verification of sometimes small details – an application, a market share, if you all want it to be correct then the research never ends. People like John Voelcker, last week’s interview partner, usually produce three articles per day. Sounds like fun but it’s hard work, especially when you run a business during daytime like I do. Anyway, enough of the whining.

Here is a link to this weeks article, “A Road Map to Technology Metals“, if you are interested.

The article just came out today – it was supposed to be released last week but neither I nor my editor liked it, so we swapped it with the Voelcker interview. Instead of breaking the topic down in its three logical sections I had crammed them all in one, and the result was rather confusing. I am glad we scrapped it, the new version was a lot easier to write and it sure is easier to read and digest (I hope). I spent a lot of time creating a slide on the use of technology metals in cars but KITCO embeds images, and the chart is rather hard to read. So as a bonus to everyone who bothers coming over to this blog, here is the high res version of the slide (click on it to open):

TMI Slides Part 1

IMG_0076In other news, Tom Moloughney, the man who drove the most electric miles worldwide to-date (outside of factory test drivers, perhaps), had a horrific crash in which he was injured, and his beloved BMW ActiveE was totaled. Tom is also an extremely nice guy, moderates BMW’s Facebook groups on the ActiveE and the i3, runs a very good Italian restaurant, and recently gave me an interview on a consumer’s perspective of the EV market. It will be published next week. Best wishes to Tom and a speedy recovery. Check out his blog if you like, it is all around interesting.

Where will I go from here? I’ve been covering the electric vehicle market extensively this month and will now move on to hydrogen (H2) technology. Three people are already queued up for interviews next week and I am very excited to learn more about this facet of the industry. It also looks like a contest is beginning to brew. Some of the H2 people announced they’d throw the glove down, and prove their technology is superior. So stay tuned, the journey continues.

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Bodo 2013Welcome back to “The Eniqma”. As you will recall I took a short timeout to rethink my activities. The wait is over, I am back! A slight makeover of this blog site is only half of it. I am very honored to contribute a new weekly commentary to KITCO News from now on: “Tech Metals Insider”. The welcome page of The Eniqma already explains the details so I won’t repeat them here. Also, KITCO published an introduction to the new series which you can read here.

In future, my blog will contain stuff I think to be relevant but which didn’t make it into my articles. I’ll probably sprinkle in a few other things as well, let’s see how it goes. I hope you will enjoy the new Eniqma. Always happy to hear from you so tell me if you do, and… oh well…. if you don’t you can say that, too.

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