Saturday, February 28, 2009

Alumina refineries

Alumina refineries:
Alumina, or aluminium oxide is refined from bauxite in a caustic soda/high temperature process. Caustic solution is used to dissolve the alumina, which is settled out, filtered and heated to evaporate the water. The resulting fine white granular substance is then smelted in so called aluminium smelters.

The biggest alumina refinery in the world has opened in 2008 in the northern Brazilian town of Barcarena. The refinery provides seven percent of global aluminum production, with an annual output of 6.26 million tons. In the picture below you can see the plant when it was under construction:

Most of the other big alumina refineries in the world are located in Australia (Which is among the biggest pruducers of aluminium in the world). This alumina refinery in Pinjarra in Western Australia with an Annual production of 4.2 million tons is the world's second biggest. The waste ( red mud) coming from the factory is pumped into a giant disposal site where it is stored. This red mud is not a hazardous waste and can be disposed of in an environ-mentally neutral manner. In the pictures below you can see such red mud disposal sites from a aluminium refinery in Ukraine:

The third biggest in the world is the
Queensland alumina limited refinery located in Queensland Australia. It has a capacity of 3.95 million tons a year:

In Gove in Northern Territory in Australia this alumina refinery is located with a producion of 3.6 million tonnes. This refinery also has it giant disposal sites. The bauxite itself which is used in the refinery is mined here and brought to the refinery by pipe lines.

Among the ten biggest in the world are also this refinery in Worsley in Australia with an anual production of 3.5 milllion tonnes, this one in Weiqiao in China (2.5 million tonnes), this one in Wagerup in Australia ( 2.4 million tonnes ), this refinery in Point Comfort in Texas (2.3 million tonnes and the biggest of the U.S ):

and the Paraman alumina factory in Suriname ( 2.2 million tonnes ).


Athabasca Oil Sands

Athabasca Oil Sands:
Oil sands, tar sands, or extra heavy oil is a type of bitumen deposit. The sands are naturally occurring mixtures of sand or clay, water and an extremely dense and viscous form of petroleum called bitumen. They are found in large amounts in many countries throughout the world, but are found in extremely large quantities in Canada and Venezuela. Because extra-heavy oil and bitumen flow very slowly, if at all, toward producing wells under normal reservoir conditions, the sands must be extracted by strip mining or the oil made to flow into wells by in situ techniques which reduce the viscosity by injecting steam, solvents, and/or hot air into the sands. These processes can use more water and require larger amounts of energy than conventional oil extraction.

At the present time, only Canada has a large-scale commercial oil sands industry, though a small amount of oil from oil sands is produced in Venezuela. The biggest oil sand operation in the world is taking place north of Fort McMarray in Alberta, Canada. These oil sands are called the Athabasca oil sands. There are three big mines in the Athabasca oil sand project which together form the biggest mining site in the world: The Syncrude mine
serving the Syncrude oil refinery:

The Suncor mine, serving the Suncor oil refinery:

and the Albian sands, 15km north of the Syncrude mine.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tokyo cityscapes

Tokyo is the biggest metropolitan area in the world, and probably also has the most spectacular looking cityscape in the world. As of October 2007, an estimated 12.79 million people live in Tokyo with 8.653 million living within Tokyo's 23 wards. During the daytime, the population swells by over 2.5 million as workers and students commute from adjacent areas. The prefecture is the center of the Greater Tokyo Area, the world's most populous metropolitan area with 35 million people.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Northern Chinese plain

The Northern Chinese plain:
The Northern Chinese plain in China is one of the most densly populated rural area's in the world. The plain covers an area of about 409,500 square kilometers where approximately 600 million people live. The Nortern Chinese plain is the dark green area below the city of Beijing on the map shown below:

Beneath you can also see a map of the population density of China. The Northern Chinese plain is recognized easily by the red area on the North east coast of China. The density is higher then 445 people per square kilometer in most parts:

About 80 percent of the people on the Northern Chinese plain live in small, rural villages, and work on the land. The rest lives in overcrowded cities, where housing is scarce. Although this percentage living in villages is decreasing at a huge rate, due to urbanisation.

On the North China Plain, villages are fairly evenly distributed and are connected with one another by footpaths and cart tracks. Most of the villages are closer then 2000m from each other. This way these villages form a grid of villages all across the Chinese plain. This can for example be seen here
in the Hebei province, here in the Henan province, and here in the Shandong province. These patterns of villages can be seen everywhere on the Northern Chinese plain in this type of density and in these patterns:

The Houses in these villages are built close together and are mostly made of sun-dried brick or pounded earth. Many of the market towns or even large villages are surrounded by walls. The formation of these villages is related not only to the increasing population and to a long historical background but also to water supply (the practice of drilling deep wells, for instance) and to defense (especially, in former days, against attack by bandits). Many of the large villages have no urban atmosphere at all, even with populations of several thousand.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sau Paulo cityscape

There is no city in the world which is such a concrete jungle as Sau Paulo in Brazil is. This city has
19 million inhabitants. For low highrise buildings nobody can beat São Paulo! It has an estimated number of rougly 30.000 buildings over 12 floors! New York, Hong kong, Shanghai each have about 4-8 thousand buildings over 12 floors, with means that São Paulo has more highrises than all these cities combined. The pictures below are the best i could find on the web that show the "concrete jungle" of this city:


City panorama's

Here are some of my favourite 360 panorama's of cityscapes on the site

  1. A view from the empire state building overlooking New York city.
  2. This view of Seoul from an observatory on top of a hill.
  3. The city of Vancouver at night.
  4. Los Angeles from the Hollywood sign.
  5. This view of the Shanghai skyline.
  6. This one of Amsterdam from a roof.
  7. The paris skyline from the Sacre coeur.
  8. This view of Franfurt from the main tower.
  9. An evening view of downtown Montreal in Canada.
  10. Rio de Janeiro from the lookout point of Dona Marta.
  11. This cityscape of Cape Town in South Africa.
  12. This evening view of Paris from the Eiffel tower.
  13. Hong Kong from the peak viewing terrace.
  14. A view of Seoul from mount Nam.
  15. A New york city view from downtown Brooklyn at night.
  16. A view of Rotterdam from the Montevideo.
  17. This view of Santiago in Chile.
  18. Chicago from the Hancock centre.
  19. A HD view of Harlem New York ( HD view need to be installed )
  20. This view from a tower in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.


Granite quarries

Biggest granite quarries:
Granite is a common and widely occurring type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock. It is mined in so called granite quarries. The biggest granite quarry in the world and also the most spectacular looking is located in Graniteville in the sate of Vermont in the USA:

The world's largest open faced granite mine is found in Mount Airy in North Carolina in the United States:

Also in the U.S this grenite mine near Norcross in Georgia is located. It is also considered one of the largest granite quarries in the world in terms of output:


Monday, February 23, 2009

Integrated chemical sites

Biggest chemical sites in the world:
The BASF is the world's leading chemical company, employing 80,000 people at all and about 35,000 (a few years ago, the employee total was about 55,000) of them in the Ludwigshafen in Germany. BASF's site in Ludwigshafen is the biggest integrated chemical site in the world. Most of the energy used here is homemade – in the company's own combined cycle power plant. BASF's Ludwigshafen site is impressive: The site in the Rhine-Neckar region in Germany covers an area of more than ten square kilometers, has 115 kilometers of road and 2,000 kilometers of pipeline. Around 33,000 people work here in more than 200 plants. The site's energy needs could be a world record: Each year almost 20 million metric tons of steam and more than six billion kilowatt hours of electricity – that is around the same as the electricity consumption of a German state such as Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. BASF Ludwigshafen consumes a good one percent of Germany's entire electricity each year. The energy is used to manufacture chemicals, crop protection agents and raw materials for cosmetics, but also plastics and performance products:

Their second biggest site worldwide is located in the harbour of Antwerp:

Another huge integrated chemical plant is found in Freeport in Texas (birdview). This place is home to Dow chemical company's largest plant and is also one of the largest chemical sites in the world. The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan. As of 2007, it is the second largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue. Dow Chemical is a provider of plastics, chemicals, and agricultural products with presence in more than 175 countries and employing 46,000 people worldwide:

The headquarters of Dow chemical company are based in Midland in Michigan. Here in Midland their second biggest site is located:

When mentioning the biggest chemical sites in the world the chemical sites at Dhzerzhinsk in Russia should for sure be mentioned. This site is among the biggest in the world. According to September 12, 2007 study by Blacksmith Institute (United States), Dzerzhinsk is also one of the worst polluted cities of the world and has a life expectancy of 42 years for men and 47 for women. Among the biggest chemical sites in the world are also this site of Sinopec in Nanjing in China, and this site of INEOS in Runcorn in England:

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