Copper exists in the environment with various forms. The upper crust within 10 kilometers contains an average of 0.0033% copper. Humans, animals and plants go through the evolution process in the natural environment containing copper, which founds the mechanism of using copper.
The interactions of the copper and the environment are complex. But, research shows that the majority of the coopers in the environment are stable, and their exiting forms do not damage the environment. Different from some artificial substances, copper does not proliferate in vivo, nor cause biological accumulation in the food chain.
Therefore, excessive copper won’t harm our environment. On the contrary, our environment is more likely to suffer from copper shortage. Soil copper deficiency is one of the main problems in the global food production. Especially in recent years, the agriculture industry has strengthened the production technology, which consumes excessive copper. If the copper can not be supplemented timely, it will not only make the original lean copper phenomena worse, but also turn the copper sufficient soil into lean copper soil. In many areas of the world, copper must be added to the feeds of the livestock because of copper deficiency.
But there is no need to be so pessimistic. As copper can be recycled completely, the copper recycling has become a popular business around the world. Many techniques and technologies have been applied in the process of copper and copper base products. For example, Hydrometallurgy extracts copper and thermo metallurgy recycles SO2 acid etc. It will beneficial to the environment if the best or suitable technologies, techniques and practices are planed and selected.
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