7 reasons bitcoin mining is profitable and worth it (2021)

7 reasons bitcoin mining is profitable and worth it (2021)

If youre motivated to learn, and you want to get a semi-passive income of bitcoin, then there are a few basics to get your head round, before working out if its even possible for you to profit from bitcoin mining.

This process repeats approximately every 10 minutes for every mining machine on the network. The difficulty of the puzzle (Network Difficulty) adjusts every 2016 blocks (~14 days) to ensure that on average one machine will solve the puzzle in a 10 minute period.

Mining hardware is specialized computers, created solely for the purpose of mining bitcoins. The more powerful your hardware isand the more energy efficientthe more profitable it will be to mine bitcoins.

In other words, the more miners (and therefore computing power) mining bitcoin and hoping for a reward, the harder it becomes to solve the puzzle. It is a computational arms race, where the individuals or organizations with the most computing power (hashrate) will be able to mine the most bitcoin.

To try and put this into perspective, lets look at how much revenue 1 TH of power can earn mining bitcoin. As the global hashrate is usually growing the revenue per TH for each miner is usually falling, - and the revenue chart for 1 TH/s looks like this:

Regardless of whether the impact is overblown by the media, its a fact that the underlying cost of mining is the energy consumed. The revenue from mining has to outweigh those costs, plus the original investment into mining hardware, in order to be profitable.

In 2020, one modern Bitcoin mining machine (commonly known as an ASIC), like the Whatsminer M20S, generates around $8 in Bitcoin revenue every day. If you compare this to the revenue of mining a different crypto currency, like Ethereum, which is mined with graphics cards, you can see that the revenue from Bitcoin mining is twice that of mining with the same amount GPUs you could buy for one ASIC. Thirteen AMD RX graphics cards cost around the same as one Whatsminer M20s.

This graph shows you the daily revenue of mining Bitcoin. It does not take into account the daily electricity costs of running a mining machine. Your baseline costs will be the difference between mining profitably or losing money. GPU mining for Ethereum is more efficient than mining with Bitcoin with an ASIC machine

Of course, while profiting on Bitcoin mining isnt certain, paying taxes on your mining rewards is. Every miner needs to know the relevant tax laws for Bitcoin mining in his area, which is why it is so important to use a crypto tax software that helps you keep track of everything and make sure you are still making enough money after you account for taxes.

First of all, Bitcoin mining has a lot of variables. This is why buying bitcoin on an exchange can be a simpler way to make a profit. However, when done efficiently it is possible to end up with more bitcoin from mining than from simply hodling.

One of the most important variables for miners is the price of Bitcoin itself. If, like most people, you are paying for your mining hardware, and your electricity,- in dollars, then you will need to earn enough bitcoin from mining to cover your ongoing costs; and make back your original investment into the machine itself.

The price of hardware varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and depends largely on how low the energy use is for the machine vs the amount of computing power it produces. The more computing power, the more bitcoin you will mine. The lower the energy consumption the lower your monthly costs.

Profitability is determined by the machines price per TH, how many watts the machine uses per TH, and your hosting costs. Longevity is determined by the production quality of the machine. It makes no sense to buy cheaper or seemingly more efficient machines if they break down after a few months of running.

If the hosting cost is low enough, it often makes sense to prioritize the price per TH over watts per TH, as your lower operational expenses (OpEx) will make up for the loss in your machines efficiency - and vice versa if your hosting costs are high.

One useful way to think about hardware is to consider what price BTC would have to fall to in order for the machines to stop being profitable. You want your machine to stay profitable for several years in order for you to earn more bitcoin from mining than you could have got by simply buying the cryptocurrency itself.

The following table shows that the majority of the most modern machines could remain profitable at a bitcoin price between $5000 and $6000. Some machines could handle a drop below $5k, if they are being run with electricity that costs under $0.05 kWh.

Unfortunately most older machines are now no longer profitable even in China. The Bitmain S9 has been operational since 2016 and interestingly enough they are still being used in Venezuela and Iran where electricity is so cheap that it outweighs the risk of confiscation. There may, eventually, be more reputable sources of sub 2 cents electricity as the access to solar and wind improves in North America.

For the individual miner, the only hope of competing with operations that have access to such cheap electricity is to send your machines to those farms themselves. Not many farms offer this as a service though.

Electricity prices vary from country to country. Many countries also charge a lower price for industrial electricity in order to encourage economic growth. This means that a mining farm in Russia will pay half as much for the electricity you would mining at home in the USA. In places like Germany, well as you can see from the chart, thats another story

In practical terms. Running a Whatsminer M20S for one month will cost around $110 a month if your electricity is $0.045 kWh in somewhere like China, Russia or Kazakhstan. You can see from the table below that you would make $45 a month in May 2020 with those electricity prices.

These days, every miner needs to mine through a mining pool. Whether you are mining with one machine, or several thousand, the network of Bitcoin mining machines is so large that your chances of regularly finding a block (and therefore earning the block reward and transaction fees) is very low.

If the Bitcoin Network Hashrate is 100 EH/s (100,000,000 TH/s), a WhatsMiner M20S ASIC miner with 68 TH/s, has approximately a 1 in 1,470,588 chance of mining a Bitcoin block. With one block per 10 mins they may have to wait 16 years to mine that one block.

F2Pools payout method is called PPS+. PPS+ pools take the risk away from miners, as they pay out block rewards and transaction fees to miners regardless of whether the pool itself successfully mines each block. Typically, PPS+ pools pay the miners at the end of each day.

Choosing the right mining pool is very important, as you will receive your mined bitcoin sent from the pool payouts every day. Its important to choose a pool that is reliable, transparent and offers the right suite of tools and services to help you optimize your mining operation.

An often overlooked facet of mining profitability is the fees one pays to sell the Bitcoin one mines. If you are a small time miner, you may have to sell your coins on a retail exchange like kraken or Binance. Sometimes your fees are low but sometimes your fees are high - it really just depends on the fee structure of the exchange and the state of the orderbook at the moment.

However, if you are a professional miner like F2 or Bitmain, you likely have really advantageous deals with OTC desks to sell your coins at little to no fees - depending on the state of the market. Some miners are even paid above spot price for their coins. Either way, professional mining operations deal with Bitcoin at a large scale and so they have more leverage to get deals that are good for them, and this doesnt just apply to electricity purchases.

Unless you have access to very cheap electricity, and modern mining hardware then mining isnt the most efficient way to stack sats. Buying bitcoin with a debit card is the simplest way, but we also recommend using a payment network like Skrill or Interac e-Transfer or use a bank transfer such as SEPA when available.

Its common knowledge that it has become very difficult for individual miners to get access to the best machines and the cheapest electricity rates. Bitcoin farms that operate at scale use these advantages to maximize their returns.

Bitcoin mining is starting to resemble similar industries as more money flows in and people start to suit up. With increased leverage, margins are lower across the whole sector. Soon, large scale miners will be able to hedge their operations with financial tooling to lock in profits, whilst bringing in USD denominated investments like loans or for equity.

If you have put in the effort to learn about mining, and you have found a location with low cost electricity for your machines, then you still need to consider where to store the bitcoin that you mine.

No, and in the case of Bitcoin, it almost never was. Unless you were one of the very first people to mine Bitcoin, CPU mining has never been profitable. There was a time where one could profitably mine Bitcoin with GPUs, but againtoday, you really must have an ASIC and a deal with a power company to make any money mining Bitcoin in 2020.

The situation may improve in the future once ASIC mining hardware innovation reaches the point of diminishing returns. That, coupled with cheap, hopefully sustainable power solutions that retail customers can access in some shape or form, may once again make Bitcoin mining profitable to small individual miners around the world.

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8 best gpu for mining - which card to choose in 2021 - paybis blog

8 best gpu for mining - which card to choose in 2021 - paybis blog

Graphic cards are constantly evolving. Miners are bombarded with new hardware releases on a regular basis. Crypto-enthusiasts can often become overwhelmed with the available options of cryptocurrency mining equipment.

Where it gets interesting is that mining also generates new (crypto) coins. These are distributed as rewards to the miners that successfully verify transactions. This mechanism is called a proof-of-work.

It was Satoshi Nakamoto who first implemented PoW through the Bitcoin blockchain. The idea was that people would use the power of their CPUs to mine new coins. At the cost of their time and electricity, miners would be rewarded with new Bitcoin for their effort.

Once ASICs got introduced to the market, many people thought that GPUs would automatically go obsolete. However, that did not happen, and time showed that GPUs still have their place in the mining industry.

While some mining algorithms require high computational power, others have been programmed to be ASIC-resistant. They accomplish this by requiring a lot of memory for solving their hashes, making GPU mining still relevant today.

But even the best GPU for mining isnt good enough for Bitcoin. The original cryptocurrency uses the SHA-256 algorithm in its mining process which is notorious for its high computational power requirements.

Additionally, Bitcoins mining difficulty goes up with the number of miners competing for the rewards. Its incredible popularity has increased the difficulty, leaving only one viable option to acquire new Bitcoins: ASIC miners.

However, these specialized machines are very expensive, hard to come by and have diminishing returns due to hardware degradation. Furthermore, they are designed for solving only one algorithm, restricting you from mining different coins.

Well, you cant mine Bitcoin with a GPU directly. Instead, you can go down another road: mine alternative cryptocurrencies and exchange them for Bitcoin. This way, you will still be able to increase your Bitcoin portfolio.

Choosing the best GPU for mining is not an easy task. To help you, our list combines 3 important aspects you should be investigating: budget, performance, and running costs. At the same time, we talk about some crucial points you should consider like availability, single or multiple GPU systems, regional electricity pricings, etc.

This is Nvidias flagship graphics processor. It was released in late 2018 and is still one of the most powerful graphic cards out there today. This shows how Nvidia dominates the market when it comes to sheer performance.

However, the mining performance is nothing to frown upon, as calculators set it as one of the best GPU for mining. For those that dont have space for more than 1 card, this might be their optimal choice, albeit expensive.

AMD has been lagging in the GPU department, but their new lineup has a few cards up its sleeve (pun intended). The 5700XT was launched in late 2019 and has come to play toe to toe with Nvidias best models.

This puts in a sweet spot, as people can buy two of these cards instead of a single 2080ti. For those residing in locations where electricity is cheap, they can double their mining performance without breaking the bank.

However, this card has been around for a few years now and there are a lot of offers for it on the second-hand market. Weve seen the 1080ti on eBay for $300-350 which puts it at an almost-budget level.

While its raw power has fallen behind, you can find a bunch of these cards on eBay for under $100. This would allow you to build a multiple-GPU rig for cheap that would easily surpass newer cards for less money.

The GTX 1070 was a close second in popularity after the AMD RX580 during the 2017 cryptocurrency bull run. It offers above-average mining capabilities and is still widely available in some parts of the world.

With the popularity of mining slowly decreasing, you can find droves of these cards second hand, sometimes even under $200. We do not recommend buying one new, as more powerful and more affordable cards are available today for the same price.

Its difficult to single out one card as being the best GPU for mining overall. There are a lot of parameters to consider. Some, like electricity cost and GPU availability, will depend on the region you are situated in.

If you are serious about your GPU mining, our advice is to often check what coins are the most profitable. The GPU mining scene is ever-changing, but there are a few cryptocurrencies that have proven to provide good value over time.

Monero (XMR) is a cryptocurrency with a focus on private transactions. Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, transactions cant be traced on the Monero Blockchain. While anyone can use the network, the source, amount and destination remain private.

Bitcoin Gold is a hard fork from the original cryptocurrency that was designed specifically to be ASIC-resistant. One of the main reasons for its creation was to democratize mining and make it accessible to enthusiasts that want to build their own machines with GPUs.

Hopefully, this guide will give you the necessary info when choosing your GPU. The latest Nvidia mining GPU are great performers and if you are looking for new gear, you cant go wrong with a rig built around the GTX 1660 SUPER.

sag mill grinding circuit design

sag mill grinding circuit design

AG and SAG mills are now the primary unit operation for the majority of large grinding circuits, and form the basis for a variety of circuit configurations. SAG circuits are common in the industry based on:

Though some trepidation concerning AG or SAG circuits accompanied design studies for some lime, such circuits are now well understood, and there is a substantial body of knowledge on circuit design as well as abundant information that can be used for bench-marking of similar plants in similar applications. Because SAG mills rely both on the ore itself as grinding media (to varying degrees) and on ore-dependent unit power requirements for milling to the transfer size, throughput in SAG circuits are variable. Relative to other comminution machines in the primary role. SAG mill operation is more dynamic, and typically requires a higher degree of process control sophistication. Though more complex in AG/ SAG circuits relative to the crushing plants they have largely replaced, these issues are well understood in contemporary applications.

AG/SAG mills grindore through impact breakage, attrition breakage, and abrasion of the ore serving as media. Autogenous circuits require an ore of suitable competency (or fractions within the ore of suitable competency) to serve as media. SAG circuits may employ low to relatively high ball charges (ranging from 2% to 22%, expressed as volumetric mill filling) to augment autogenous media. Higher ball charges shift the breakage mode away from attrition and abrasionbreakage toward impact breakage; as a result, AG milling produces a finer grind than SAG milling for a given ore and otherwise equal operating conditions. The following circuits are common in the gold industry:

Common convention generally refers to high-aspect ratio mills as SAG mills (with diameter to effective grinding length ratios of 3:1 to 1:1), low-aspect ratio mills (generally, a mill with a significantly longer length than diameter) are also worth noting. Such mills are common in South African operations; mills are sometimes referred to as tube mills or ROM ball mills and are also operated both autogenously and semi-autogenously. Many of these mills operate at higher mill speeds (nominally 90% of critical speed) and often use grid liners to form an autogenous liner surface. These mills typically grind ROM ore in a single stage. A large example of such a mill was converted from a single-stage milling application to a semi autogenous ball-mill-crushing (SABC) circuit, and the application is well described. This refers to high-aspect AG/SAG mills.

With a higher density mill charge. SAG mills have a higher installed power density for a given plant footprint relative to AC mills. With the combination of finer grind and a lower installed power density (based on the lower density of the mill charge), a typical AG mill has a lower throughput, a lower power draw, and produces a finer grind. These factors often translate to a higher unit power input (kWh/t) than an SAG circuit milling the same ore. but at a higher power efficiency (often assessed by the operating work index OWi, which if used most objectively, should be corrected by one of a number of techniques for varying amounts of fines between the two milling operations).

In the presence of suitable ore, an autogenous circuit can provide substantial operating cost savings due to a reduction in grinding media expenditure and liner wear. In broad terms, this makes SAG mills less expensive to build (in terms of unit capital cost per ton of throughput) than AG mills but more expensive to operate (as a result of increased grinding media and liner costs, and in many cases, lower power efficiency). SAG circuits are less susceptible to substantial fluctuations due to feed variation than AG mills and are more stable to operate. AG circuits are more frequently (but not exclusively) installed in circuits with high ore densities. A small steel charge addition to an AG mill can boost throughput, result in more stable operations, typically at the consequence of a coarser grind and higher operating costs. An AG circuit is often designed to accommodate a degree of steel media for circuit flexibility. AG mills (or SAG mills with low ball charges) are often used in single-stage grinding applications.

Based on their higher throughput and coarser grind relative to AG mills, it is more common for SAG mills to he used as the primary stage of grinding, followed by a second stage of milling. AG/SAG circuits producing a fine grind (particularly single-stage grinding applications) are often closed with hydrocyclones. Circuits producing a coarser grinds often classify mill discharge with screens. For circuits classifying mill discharge at a coarse size (coarser than approximately 10 mm), trommels can also be considered to classify mill discharge. Trommels are less favorable in applications requiring high classification efficiencies and can be constrained by available surface area for high-throughput mills. Regardless of classification equipment (hydrocyclone, screen, or trommel), oversize can be returned to the mill, or directed to a separate stage of comminution.

Many large mills around the world (Esperanza with a 12.8 m mill. Cadia and Collahuasi with 12.2-m mills, and Antamina. Escondida #IV. PT Freeport Indonesia, and others with 11.6-m mills) have installed SAG mills of 20 MW. Gearless drives (wrap-around motors) are typically used for large mills, with mills of 25 MW or larger having been designed. Several circuits have single-line design capacities exceeding 100,000 TPD. A large SAG installation (with pebble crusher product combining with SAG discharge and feeding screens) is depicted here below, with the corresponding process flowsheet presented in Figure 17.9.

Adding pebble crushing as a unit operation is the most common variant to closed-circuit AG/SAG milling (instead of direct recycle of oversize material ). The efficiency benefits (both in terms of grinding efficiency and in capital efficiency through incremental throughput) are well recognized. Pebble crushers are effective at reducing the buildup of critical-sized material in the mill load. Critical-sized particles are those where the product of the mill feed-size distribution and the mill breakage rates result in a buildup of a size range of material in the mill load, the accumulation of which limits the ability of the mill to accept new feed. While critical-size could be of any dimension, it is most typically synonymous with pebble-crusher feed, with a size range of 1375 mm. Critical-sized particles can result from a simple failure of a mills breakage rates to exceed the breakage rate of incoming particles, and particles generated when breaking larger particles. Alternatively, a second type of buildup of critical-sized material can result due to a combination of rock types in the feed that have differing breakage properties. In this case, the harder fraction of the mill feed builds up in the mill load, againrestricting throughput. Examples of materials in this category include diorites, chert, and andesite. When buildup of these materials does occur, pebble crushing can improve mill throughput even more dramatically than when the critically sized fraction results purely from a breakage rate deficit alone. For these ore types, a pebble-crushing circuit is tin imperative for efficient circuit operation.

Currently, every AG/SAG flowsheet evaluation is likely to consider the inclusion of a pebble crusher circuit. Flowsheets that do not elect to include pebble crushing at construction and commissioning may include provisions for future retrofitting a pebble-crushing circuit. Important aspects of pebble crusher circuit design include:

The standard destination for crushed pebbles has been to return them to SAG feed. However, open circuiting the SAG mill by feeding crushed pebbles directly to a ball-mill circuit is often considered as a technique to increase SAG throughput. An option to do both can allow balancing the primary and secondary milling sections by having the ability to return crushed pebbles to SAG feed as per a conventional flowsheet, or to the SAG discharge. Such a circuit is depicted here on the right. By combining with SAG discharge and screening on the SAG discharge screens, top size control to the ball-mill circuit feed is maintained while still unloading the SAG circuit (Mosher et al, 2006). A variant of this method is to direct pebble-crushing circuit product to the ball-mill sump for secondary milling: while convenient, this has the disadvantage of not controlling the top size of feed to the ball-mill circuit. There have also been pioneer installations that have installed HPGRs as a second stage of pebble crushing.

The unit power requirement for SAG milling (both individually and as a fraction of the total circuit power) is worthy of comment. It can be very difficult operationally to trade grind for throughput in an SAG circuitonce designed and constructed for a given circuit configuration, an SAG mill circuit has limited flexibility to deliver varying product sizes, and a relatively fixed unit power input for a given ore type is typically required in the SAG mill. This is particularly true for those SAG circuits designed with a coarse closing size. As a result, under-sizing an SAG mill has disastrous results on throughput across the industry, there are numerous examples of the SAG mill emerging as the circuit bottleneck. On the other hand, over-sizing an SAG circuit can be a poor utilization of capital (or an opportunity for future expansion!).

Traditionally, many engineers approached SAG circuit design as a division of the total power between the SAG circuit and ball-mill circuit, often at an arbitrary power split. If done without due consideration to ore characteristics, benchmarks against comparable operating circuits, and other aspects of detailed design (including steady-state tests, simulation, and experience), an arbitrary power split between circuits ignores the critical decision of determining the required unit power in SAG milling. As such, it exposes the circuit to risk in terms of failing to meet throughput targets if insufficient SAG power is installed. Rather than design the SAG circuit with an arbitrary fraction of total circuit power, it is more useful to base the required SAG mill size on the product of the unit power requirement for the ore and the desired throughput. Subsequently, the size of the secondary milling circuit is then sized based on the amount of finish grinding for the SAG circuit product that is required. Restated, the designed SAG mill size and operating conditions typically control circuit throughput, while the ball-mill circuit installed power controls the final grind size.

The effect of feed hardness is the most significant driver for AG/SAG performance: with variations in ore hardness come variations in circuit throughput. The effect of feed size is marked, with both larger and finer feed sizes having a significant effect on throughput. With SAG mills, the response is typically that for coarser ores, throughput declines, and vice versa. However, for AG mills, there are number of case histories where mills failed to consistently meet throughput targets due to a lack of coarse media. Compounding the challenge of feed size is the fact that for many ores, the overall coarseness of the primary crusher product is correlated to feed hardness. Larger, more competent material consumes mill volume and limits throughput.

A number of operations have implemented a secondary crushing circuit prior to the SAG circuit for further comminution of primary crusher product. Such a circuit can counteract the effects of harder ore. coarser ore. decrease the size of SAG mill required, or rectify poor throughput due to an undersized SAG circuit. Notably, harder ore often presents itself to the SAG circuit as coarser than softer oreless comminution is produced in blasting and primary crushing, and therefore the impact on SAG throughput is compounded.

Circuits that have used or do use secondary crushing/SAG pre-crush include Troilus (Canada), Kidston (Australia), Ray (USA), Porgera (PNG). Granny Smith (Australia), Geita Gold (Tanzania), St Ives (Australia), and KCGM (Australia). Occasionally, secondary crushing is included in the original design but is often added as an additional circuit to account for harder ore (either harder than planned or becoming harder as the deposit is developed) or as a capital-efficient mechanism to boost throughput in an existing circuit. Such a flowsheet is not without its drawbacks. Not surprisingly, some of the advantages of SAG milling are reduced in terms of increased liner wear and increased maintenance costs. Also, pre-crush can lead to an increase in mid-sized material, overloading of pebble circuits, and challenges in controlling recycle loads. In certain circuits, the loss of top-size material can lead to decreased throughput. It is now widespread enough to be a standard circuit variant and is often considered as an option in trade-off studies. At the other end of the spectrum is the concept of feeding AG mills with as coarse a primary crusher product as possible.

The overall circuit configuration can guide selection of die classification method of primary circuit product. Screening is more successful than trommel classification for circuits with pebble crushing, particularly for those with larger mills. Single-stage AG/SAG circuits are most often closed with hydrocyclones.

To a more significant degree than in other comminution devices, liner design and configuration can have a substantial effect on mill performance. In general terms, lifter spacing and angle, grate open area and aperture size, and pulp lifter design and capacity must be considered. Each of these topics has had a considerable amount of research, and numerous case studies of evolutionary liner design have been published. Based on experience, mill-liner designs have moved toward more open-shell lifter spacing, increased pulp lifter volumetric capacity, and a grate design to facilitate maximizing both pebble-crushing circuit utilization and SAG mill capacity. As a guideline, mill throughput is maximized with shell lifters between ratios of 2.5:1 and 5.0:1. This ratio range is stated without reference to face angle; in general terms, and at equivalent spacing-to-height ratios, lifters with greater face-angle relief will have less packing problems when new, but experience higher wear rates than those with a steeper face angle. Pulp-lifter design can be a significant consideration for SAG mills, particularly for large mills. As mill sizes increases, the required volumetric capacity of the pulp lifters grows proportionally to mill volume. Since AG/SAG mill volume is roughly proportional to the mill radius cubed (at typical mill lengths) while the available cross-sectional area grows only as the radius squared, pulp lifters must become more efficient at transferring slurry in larger mills. Mills with pebble-crushing circuits will require grates with larger apertures to feed the circuit.

No discussion of SAG milling would be complete without mention of refining. Unlike a concentrator with multiple grinding lines, conducting SAG mill maintenance shuts down an entire concentrator, so there is a tremendous focus on minimizing required maintenance time; the reline timeline often represents the critical path of a shutdown (but typically does not dominate a shutdown in terms of total maintenance effort).

Reline times are a function of the number of pieces to be changed and the time required per piece. Advances in casting and development of progressively larger lining machines have allowed larger and larger individual liner pieces.

While improvements in this area will continue, the physical size limit of the feed trunnion and the ability to maneuver parts are increasingly limiting factors, particularly in large mills. The other portion of the equation for reline times is time per piece, and performance in this area is a function of planning, training/skill level, and equipment.

Abroad range of AG/SAG circuit configurations are in operation. Very large line plants have been designed, constructed, and operated. The circuits have demonstrated reliability, high overall availabilities, streamlined maintenance shutdowns, and efficient operation. AG/SAG circuits can handle a broad range of feed sizes, as well as sticky, clayey ores (which challenge other circuit configurations). Relative to crushing plants, wear media use is reduced, and plants run at higher availabilities. Circuits, however, are more sensitive to variations in circuit feed characteristics of hardness and size distribution; unlike crushing plants for which throughput is largely volumetrically controlled. AG/SAG throughput is defined by the unit power required to grindthe ore to the closing size attained in the circuit. Very hard ores can severely constrain AG/SAG mill throughput. In such cases, the circuits can become capital inefficient (in terms of the size and number of primary milling units required) and can require more total power input relative to alternative comminution flowsheets. A higher degree of operator skill is typically required of AG/SAG circuit operation, and more advanced process control is required to maintain steady-state operation, with different operator/advanced process control regimens required based on different ore types.

Many mills have been built based on data from inadequate sampling or from insufficient tests. With the cost of many mills exceeding several hundred million dollars, it is mandatory that geologists, mining engineers and metallurgists work together to prepare representative samples for testing. Simple repeatable work index tests are usually sufficient for rod mill and ball mill tests but pilot plant tests on 50-100 tons of ore are frequently necessary for autogenous or semiautogenous mills.

Preparation and selection of the test sample is of utmost importance. Procedures for autogenous and semiautogenous mill pilot plant tests are relatively simple for those experienced in running them. Reliable and repeatable results can be obtained if simple fundamental procedures are followed.

The design of large mills has become increasingly more complicated as the size has increased and there is little doubt that without sophisticated design procedures such as the use of the Finite Element method the required factors of safety would make large mills prohibitively expensive.

In the past the design of small mills, up to +/- 2,5 metres diameter, was carried out using empirical formulae with relatively large factors of safety. As the diameter and length of mills increased several critical problem areas were identified. One of the most important was the severe stressing which took place at the connection of the mill shell and the trunnion bearing end plates, which is further aggravated by the considerable distortion of the shell and the bearing journals due to the dynamic load effect of the rotating mill with a heavy mass of ore and pulp being lifted and dropped as the grinding process took place. Incidentally the design calculation of the deformations of journal and mill shell is based on static conditions, the influence of the rotating mass being of less importance. An indication of shell and journal distortion is shown in Figure 1.

Investigations carried out by Polysius/Aerofall revealed that practical manufacturing considerations dictated some aspects of trunnion end design. Whereas the thickness of the trunnion in the case of small diameter mills was dictated by foundry practice which required a minimum thickness of metal the opposite was the case in the design of large diameter mills where the emphasis was not to exceed a maximum thickness both from the mass/casting temperature point of view and the cost aspect.

While the deformation of shell and end plates was acceptable in the case of small mills due in some extent to the over stiff construction, the deformation in the large, more flexible, mills is relatively high. The ratio of the trunnion thickness to trunnion diameter in a mill of 2,134 m diameter is almost twice that of a mill of 5,8 m diameter, i.e. a ratio (T/D) of 0,116 to 0,069 for the large mill.

The use of large memory high speed computers coupled with finite element methods provides the means of performing stress calculations with a high degree of accuracy even for the complex structures of large mills. The precision with which the stress values can be predicted makes the use of safety factors based on empirical formulae generally unnecessary.

In the case of large diameter trunnion bearing mills the distortion which takes place is further compounded by the fact that the deformation varies across the width of the bearing journal due to the fact that the end of the journal attached to the mill end plate is less liable to distortion than the outlet free end of the journal. This raises serious complications as far as the development of the hydrodynamic fluid oil film of the bearing is concerned since the minimum oil gap may be only 0,05 mm.

Obviously a thinner oil film is adequate where the deformation of the journal is less while at the unsecured end of the journal widely varying oil film thickness is necessary to maintain the correct oil pressure to support the mill. A solution to this problem has been the advent of the hydrostatic bearing with a supply of high pressure oil pumped continuously into the bearings.

Incorporating the mill bearing journals as part of the mill shell reduced the magnitude of the problem of distortion although there is always out of round deformation of the shell. The variation across the width of the journal surface is less pronounced than is the case with the trunnion bearing.

The replacement of a single bearing with a number of individual self adjusting bearing pads which together support the mill has lessened the undesirable effects of deformation while improving the efficiency of the bearing.

The ability of each individual bearing-pad to adjust automatically to a more localised area of the shell journal gives rise to improved contact of the oil film with both the bearing surface and the journal and in the case of hydrodynamic oil systems makes it unnecessary to supply oil at constant high pressure once the oil film has been established. A cross-section of a slipper pad bearing is shown in Figure 3.

Kidstons orebody consists of 44.2 million tonnes graded at 1.79 g/t gold and 2.22 g/t silver. Production commenced in January, 1985, and despite a number of control, mechanical and electrical problems, each month has seen a steady improvement in plant performance to a current level of over ninety percent rated capacity.

The grinding circuit comprises one 8530 mm diameter x 3650 mm semi-autogenous mill driven by a 3954 kW variable speed dc motor, and one 5030 mm diameter x 8340 mm secondary ball mill driven by a 3730 kW synchronous motor. Four 1067 x 2400 mm vibrating feeders under the coarse ore stockpile feed the SAG mill via a 1067 mm feed belt equipped with a belt scale. Feed rate was initially controlled by the SAG mill power draw with bearing pressure as override.

Integral with the grinding circuit is a 1500 cubic meter capacity agitated surge tank equipped with level sensors and variable speed pumps. This acts as a buffer between the grinding circuit and the flow rate sensitive cycloning and thickening sections.

The Kidston plant was designed to process 7500 tpd fresh ore of average hardness; but to optimise profit during the first two years of operation when softer oxide ore will be treated, the process equipment was sized to handle a throughput of up to 14 000 tpd. Some of the equipment, therefore, will become standby units at the normal throughputs of 7 000 to 8 000 tpd, or additional milling capacity may be installed.

The SAG mill incorporates a design which allowed expedient manufacturing to high quality specifications, achieved by selecting a shell to head to trunnion configuration of solid elements bolted together. This eliminates difficult to fabricate and inspect areas such as a fabricated head welded to shell plate, fabricated ribbed heads, plate or casting welded to the head in the knuckle area and transition between the head and trunnion.

Considerable variation in ore hardness, the late commissioning of much of the instrumentation and an eagerness to maximise mill throughput led to frequent mill overloading during the first four months of operation. The natural operator over-reaction to overloads resulted numerous mill grindouts, about sixteen hours in total, which in turn were largely responsible for grate failure and severe liner peening. First evidence of grate failure occurred at 678 000 tonnes throughput, and at 850 000 tonnes, after three grates had been replaced on separate occasions, the remaining 25 were renewed. The cylinder liners were so badly peened at this stage that no liner edge could be discerned except under very close scrutiny and grate apertures had closed to 48 percent of their original open area.

The original SAG mill control loop, a mill motor power draw set point of 5200 Amperes controlling the coarse ore feeder speeds, was soon found to give excessive variation in the mill ore charge volume and somewhat less than optimal power draw.

The armature, weighing 19 tonnes, together with the top half magnet frame, were trucked two thousand kilometers to Brisbane for rewinding and repairs. The mill was turning again on January 24 after a total elapsed downtime of 14 days. After a twelve day stoppage due to a statewide power dispute in February, the mill settled down to a fairly normal operation, apart from some minor problems with alarm monitoring causing a few spurious trips. One cause of the mysterious stoppages was tracked down to the cubicle door interlocks which stuttered whenever the mining department fired a bigger than usual blast.

The open trunnion bearings are sealed with a rubber ring which proved ineffective in preventing ingress of water, and occasionally solids, from feed chute chokes and spillages. Contamination and emulsification of the oil with subsequent filter choking has been responsible for nearly eighteen percent of SAG mill circuit shutdowns. Despite the very high levels of contamination, no damage has been sustained by the bearings which has at least proved the effectiveness of the filters and other protection devices.

Design changes to date have, predictably, mostly concentrated on improving liner life and minimising discharge grate damage. Four discharge grates with thickened ends have performed satisfactorily and a Mk3 version with separate lifters and 20 mm apertures is currently being cast by Minneapolis Electric.

Cylinder liners will continue to be replaced with high profile lifters only on a complete reline basis. While there is the problem of reduced milling capacity with reduced lifter height towards the end of liner life, it is hoped to largely offset this by operating at higher mill speeds.

Mill feed chute liner life continues to be a problem. The original chrome-moly liners lasted some three months and a subsequent trial with 75 mm thick clamped Linhard (rubber) liners turned in a rather dismal life of three weeks.

eco-friendly gold leaching | eco-goldex reagent

eco-friendly gold leaching | eco-goldex reagent

Eco-Goldex (Eco-Gold Extraction) is a Canadian company that dedicats to develop and supply its innovative Eco-Goldex technology and products of precious metal (Au, Ag, Pd...) extraction in gold mining and E-waste materials recycling business.

Eco-Goldex's mission is to provide its simple, high performance and eco-friendly product to global users in gold extraction operations including gold mining and E-waste recycling. Eco-Goldex proudly provide products and services to its clients from more than 48 countries that cover all the continents.

The O Series (it refers to Ores) is specially formulated and manufactured with the purpose of replacing the toxic sodium cyanide in gold/silver/PGM rock ore leaching. The O series can compete sodium cyanide easily in most rock ore processing including gold leaching rate (similar or even better), agent consumption (similar or slightly higher) and leaching time (similar or even quicker); but the most advantage of the O series is it is low toxic and is classified as ordinary goods and can be purchased, transport, storage and usage without restriction. Eco-Goldex O Series is suitable for most common gold ores such as oxide, semi-oxide, and non-refractory sulfide gold ores or oxide copper ores. The O series share the same flowsheet with cyanidation, it can seamlessly replace cyanidation without change of existing operation system and is applicable to heap leach, Carbon in Leach / Carbon in Pulp, VAT leaching methods...

For most large e-scrap recyclers, the most common solution of precious metal recovery is selling e-scrap materials to one of the few large smelters in the world, and the smelters apply pyrometallurgical method (burning everything in furnace) to process these e-scraps and give the recyclers credits after many discounts and management fee charges. These recyclers only get a small fraction of the precious metal values in the e-scraps they sold to these large monopoly smelters. Precious metal recovery through pyrometallurgical approach (Smelting) is not practical for small-medium scale recycling companies due to the facts of:

Understood these facts and the desires of recovery Au/Ag/Pd by themselves of these small-medium sized e-scrap recyclers, Eco-goldex has developed an hydrometallurgical (in water solution) method that can selectively extract precious metals (Au, Ag, Pd, Pt, In, Ir) from e-scraps in a very simple and effective approach. Users with simple training can do the job without professional background requirements. More importantly, eco-goldex provides flexible system/ flowsheet that allows clients to extract what they want based on their situations:

Eco-goldexs technology/system can fit any operational scale from gold stripping hobbyist to recycling company with a daily process capacity of up to 50 tons. With less than 40,000$ investment, a 1 ton/day stripping/recovery system can be constructed.

Eco-Goldex E Series is a specially formulated chemical compound for gold stripping from E-Scraps and old jewelry scraps recycling. The E seris is characterized by its outstanding stripping speed and high performance in plated gold materials; more importantly, the E series stripping solution can strip multiple precious metals including Au,Ag,Pd from E-scraps. Eco-Goldex has developed its propreitary two-stage precious recovery technology that can recover up to 99.6% gold from pregnant solution. The simplicity of stripping process and high precious metal recovery rate make the Eco-goldex E series and its packages fit users with different skills and capacities from hobbyists to small scale E-scrap recycling operators to large scale recycling enterprises.

Eco-Goldex E product series have a unique feature that it can selectively strip precious metals (Au, Ag, Pd, Pt...) from plating electronic materials such as pins, connectors, RAM, CPU and PCB, while other metals like copper, nickel, aluminium are not or only slightly attacked. This selective stripping feature makes precious metal stripping process much easier and simplier in E-waste recycling.

Eco-Goldex's proprietary technology of electrowinning + Active Carbon (AC) adosrption method warrants over 99% gold recovery rate in E-scrap pregnant solution. Eco-Goldex claims that the extraodinary high stripping efficiency and gold recovrey rate of Eco-goldex E agent making it stand out among its competitors in the market.

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nic carter: the last word on bitcoin's energy consumption - coindesk

nic carter: the last word on bitcoin's energy consumption - coindesk

CoinDesk columnist Nic Carteris partner at CastleIslandVentures, a public blockchain-focused venture fund based in Cambridge, Mass. He is also the cofounder of Coin Metrics, a blockchain analytics startup.

Much ink has been spilled on the question of Bitcoins energy footprint. But amid the clarifying details and the energy mix calculations we have lost sight of the most important questions. Anyone who wades into this muddy debate must consider the fundamentals before making a final assessment.

Lets start with the basics. Many people, when decrying Bitcoins energy footprint, point out its energy consumption and presume that someone, somewhere is being deprived of electricity because of this rapacious asset. Not only is this not the case, but Bitcoins presence in many jurisdictions doesnt affect the price of energy at all because the energy there isnt actually being used. How could this be?

The first thing to understand is that energy is not globally fungible. Electricity decays as it leaves its point of origin; its expensive to transport. Globally, about 8 percent of electricity is lost in transit. Even high-voltage transmission lines suffer line losses, making it impractical to transport electricity over very long distances. This is why we talk about an energy grid you have to produce it virtually everywhere, especially near to population centers.

When you consider Bitcoins energy intake, interesting patterns emerge. New data from the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance has confirmed what we effectively already knew: China is the epicenter of Bitcoin mining, with specific regions like Xinjiang, Sichuan and Inner Mongolia dominating. With the cooperation of mining pools, the Cambridge researchers were able to geolocate the IPs of a sizable fraction of active miners, creating a novel dataset giving us new insight into Bitcoins energy mix.

And the results are revealing: Sichuan, second only in the hashpower rankings to Xinjiang, is a province characterized by a massive overbuild of hydroelectric power in the last decade. Sichuans installed hydro capacity is double what its power grid can support, leading to lots of curtailment (or waste). Dams can only store so much potential energy in the form of water before they must let it out. Its an open secret that this otherwise-wasted energy has been put to use mining Bitcoin. If your local energy cost is effectively zero but you cannot sell your energy anywhere, the existence of a global buyer for energy is a godsend.

There is historical precedent for this phenomenon. Other commodities have been employed to export energy, effectively smoothing out ripples in the global energy market. Before Bitcoin, aluminium served this purpose. A huge fraction of aluminums embodied cost is the cost of electricity involved in smelting bauxite ore. Because Iceland boasts cheap and abundant energy, in particular in the form of hydro and geothermal, smelting bauxite was a natural move. The ore was shipped from Australia or China, smelted in Iceland and shipped back to places like China for construction.

This led to an Icelandic economist famously stating that Iceland export[s] energy in the form of aluminum. Today, Iceland is hoping it can replicate this model with the export of energy via data storage. This is why smelters are located in places where electricity is abundant, and where the local consumers may not be able to absorb all that capacity. Today, many of these smelters have been converted into Bitcoin mines including an old Alcoa plant in upstate New York. The historical parallels are exquisite in their aptness.

So to sum up, part of the reason Bitcoin consumes so much electricity is because China lowered the clearing price of energy by overbuilding hydro capacity due to sloppy central planning. In a non-Bitcoin world, this excess energy would either have been used to smelt aluminum or would simply have been wasted.

My favorite way to think about it is as follows. Imagine a topographic map of the world, but with local electricity costs as the variable determining the peaks and troughs. Adding Bitcoin to the mix is like pouring a glass of water over the 3D map it settles in the troughs, smoothing them out. As Bitcoin is a global buyer of energy at a fixed price, it makes sense for miners with very cheap energy to sell some to the protocol. This is why so many oil miners (whose business results in the production of lots of waste methane) have developed an enthusiasm for mining Bitcoin. From a climate perspective, this is actually a net positive. Bitcoin thrives on the margins, where energy is lost or curtailed.

Another common mistake energy detractors make is to naively extrapolate Bitcoins energy consumption to the equivalent CO2 emissions. What matters is the type of energy source being used to generate electricity, as they are not homogenous from a carbon footprint perspective. The academic efforts that get breathlessly reported in the press tend to assume either an energy mix which is invariant at the global or country level. Both Mora et al and Krause and Tolaymat generated flashy headlines for their calculations of Bitcoins footprint, but rely on naive extrapolations of energy consumption to CO2 emissions.

Even though lots of Bitcoin is mined in China, its not appropriate to map Chinas generic CO2 footprint to Bitcoin mining. As discussed, Bitcoin seeks out otherwise-curtailed energy, like hydropower in Sichuan, which is relatively green. Any reliable estimate must take this into account.

The prospects look even sunnier when you consider the changing nature of Bitcoin security spend. Eighty-seven percent of Bitcoins terminal supply has been issued already. Due to the path Bitcoins price took during the heavy-issuance phase, miners will have been collectively rewarded just over $17 billion in exchange for finding those coins (assuming simply that they sold their coins when they mined them), even though the coins are worth $160 billion today. This is because most of those coins were issued at cheaper price points.

If Bitcoin ends up being worth substantially more in the future than it is worth today (say, by an order of magnitude), then the world will actually have received a discount on its issuance. The energy-externality of pulling those Bitcoins out of the mathematical ether will actually have been very low, due to the historical contingency of when, price-wise, those Bitcoins were actually mined. In other words: Bitcoins energy expenditure may end up looking rather cheap in the final analysis. Coins only need to be issued once. And its better for the planet that they be issued when the coin price was low, and the electricity expended to extract them was commensurately low.

As any Bitcoin observer knows, issuance as a driver of miner revenue will decline with time. Last weeks halving cut the issuance side of miner revenue by half. If I had to make a guess, Bitcoins periodic halvings will at least offset its appreciation long term, making runaway growth in security spend unlikely. Fees will necessarily grow to account for a much larger fraction of miner income. Fees have a natural ceiling to them, as transactors must actively pay them on a per-transaction basis. If they become too onerous, users will look elsewhere, or economize on fees with other layers that periodically settle to the base chain.

Thus its unlikely that security spend results in the world-eating feedback loop that has been posited in the popular press. In the long term, Bitcoins energy consumption is a linear function of its security spend. Like any other utility, the publics willingness to pay for block-space will determine the resources that are allocated to providing the service in question.

Now, despite all the caveats listed above, its undeniable that Bitcoin not only consumes a lot of energy but produces externalities in the form of CO2 emissions. This is not under debate.What Bitcoiners are often confronted about is whether Bitcoin has a legitimate claim onanyof societys resources. This question relies on a kind of utilitarian logic about which industries should be entitled to consume energy. In practice, no one actuallyreasons like this. The Bitcoin-energy supplicants are mum when it comes to the energy used to illuminate Christmas lights, to power the data centers behind Netflix or to distribute untold millions of single-serve meal kits. Its clear that because Bitcoins footprint is so easy to quantify and an object of revulsion among the chattering classes it is singled out for special treatment.

Ultimately its just a matter of opinion as to whether the existence of a non-state, synthetic monetary commodity is a good idea. The truth is that blockspace is a service which is paid for, and thats where its resource cost is derived. Something duly purchased cannot, by definition, be a waste. Its buyer derives benefit from its existence, regardless of anyone elses subjective opinion of the merit of the transaction. These same arguments have been made countless times about perceived costs of the gold standard, and rebutted on similar grounds before. Fundamentally, millions of individuals the world over still value physical, bank-independent savings, so it still gets pulled out of the ground with regularity. As long as people value Bitcoin, so, too, will the block-space auction continue in perpetuity.

The Bitcoin-energy worriers need not despair, however. There is a solution. All they must do is persuade Bitcoin fans to use and value an alternative settlement medium. Their best bet will be to devise a system that is even more secure, offers stronger assurances, settles faster, is more privacy preserving and is more censor resistant all without using Proof-of-Work. Such a system would be miraculous. Im waiting with bated breath.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

most of computings carbon emissions are coming from manufacturing and infrastructure

most of computings carbon emissions are coming from manufacturing and infrastructure

When it comes to reducing carbon emissions, tech companies have started considering their complete carbon footprint. Since companies have stronger operational control over their own facilities and energy procurement, many of them have spent the last decade focusing on reducing their emissions related to operational energy consumption (opex) and setting carbon neutral or net zero operational goals. But as more companies are approaching their 100 percent renewable energy targets, theyve started looking into emissions related to their value chain or capital energy consumption (capex) indirect emissions that come from hardware manufacturing and infrastructure.

Researchers from Facebook, Harvard University, and Arizona State University (ASU) have demonstrated that unless both opex and capex emissions are addressed, the tech industrys carbon footprint will continue to grow. The solution, they say, is to examine ways of reducing carbon emissions that go deeper into the manufacturing supply chain.

As computer hardware and software become more powerful, they also increase their energy demand. This is particularly true when it comes to the hardware that runs advanced AI and machine learning applications and trains deep learning models. This means engineers and researchers spend a lot of time working on ways to help systems operate with as much energy efficiency as possible. This, coupled with the use of renewable energy, can have a significant impact on opex emissions those that come from recurring operations.

Data centers like Facebooks, for example, have increased their energy efficiency through a combination of system improvements and renewable energy. Using warehouse-scale systems and lowering cooling and facility overheads makes for less power consumption. And using renewable energy further reduces a data centers carbon footprint. In 2019, most of Facebooks data centers reached nearly zero carbon emissions after shifting to green, renewable energies like solar and wind.

This is a milestone achievement, but it also points the road to the next challenge for tech companies: shifting focus towards capex emissions and setting ambitious net zero targets through their value chain.

Data centers provide an easy way to understand the distinction between opex and capex emissions. The energy consumed by hardware inside the data center makes up its opex emissions. But getting all that hardware built and installed, as well as building the data center itself, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions as well. These are the capex emissions.

The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, a global standard for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions, categorizes emissions into three scopes. Scope 1 emissions are a companys direct emissions, such as fuel and chemicals (e.g., gas used by vehicles, refrigerants used to cool offices and data centers, and chemicals used to manufacture semiconductors for semiconductor companies). Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from purchased energy and heat that drive semiconductor manufacturing, ofces, and data center operations. Scope 3 accounts for all other indirect emissions, including those that come from the supply chain, and those associated with employee business travel, commuting, logistics, purchased goods and services, and capital goods.

In alignment with the GHG Protocol, conducting life cycle assessments (LCAs) is one way to examine a hardware systems total carbon emissions across its life cycle, including its production and manufacturing, transport, use, and end-of-life processing, or the construction of a data center. LCAs can provide a detailed understanding of the areas and components that contribute most to carbon emissions.

Researchers looked at publicly available sustainability reports and life cycle analyses from AMD, Apple, Facebook, Google, Huawei, Intel, Microsoft, and TSMC. Their meta-analysis found that, for many use cases across the edge and cloud computing spectrum, most carbon emissions came from hardware manufacturing (capex), not operational system use (opex).

Personal devices like smartphones, desktops, and laptops contribute most of their carbon footprint through their manufacturing and use. While emissions from always-connected devices come mainly from opex consumption, emissions from battery-operated devices come mainly from manufacturing (capex). This hardware manufacturing footprint increases as devices become more powerful (having more memory, bandwidth, and/or storage).

While companies have been optimizing their devices hardware and software to maximize performance, they also need to focus on the increasing percentage of emissions that come from hardware manufacturing. The researchers estimate that, given the energy efciency improvements from software and hardware innovation in the last decade, mobile devices, for example, would have to be used three years beyond their typical lifetime to amortize the carbon footprint created by their manufacture.

Data centers have followed a similar trend. The positive impact of renewable energy has shifted the focus on their carbon footprint almost entirely to a need to reduce capex emissions. The construction of the data center itself and manufacture of the hardware that goes into it are responsible for the majority of the data centers carbon footprint.

Renewable energy has also had a significant impact in the hardware manufacturing sector, where semiconductor factories, for example, have shifted to renewable energy. But the meta-analysis reveals that even under optimistic projections, hardware manufacturing will still account for a large portion of hardware life cycle carbon footprints.

So, what can be done on the capex end? Facebooks, Harvards, and ASUs researchers suggest that it will require further work into making hardware more efficient, flexible, and scalable, from their design and manufacturing up to the software level across the entire computing system stack.

When looking at semiconductor and other hardware manufacturing, the researchers recommend that hardware needs to be designed from the start with reducing capex emissions in mind. In addition to operational computation performance, data center buildings and hardware supply chains need to be designed with both high performance and low carbon emissions in mind. Using building and infrastructure materials with lower carbon impacts, building repairability and recyclability principles into design processes, extending the life span of hardware, and ensuring responsible end-of-life management will all be essential.

For software, optimizations to algorithms and applications that run data centers and improvements to runtime systems like schedulers, load balancing services, and operating systems can all improve both opex- and capex-related carbon footprints. The researchers also point to recent work into developing new programming languages to allow programmers to write more energy-efcient code.

This isnt a problem that any one company or entity can solve. It will take an industry-wide effort to reduce capex emissions and to continue to reduce opex emissions. There needs to be broader participation, standardization, and disclosures to help the tech industry continue to improve its sustainability performance.

Carbon footprint isnt the only environmental concern when it comes to making computing more sustainable. Addressing computings broader environmental impact, such as air and water pollution, as well as the consumption of limited natural resources, like aluminum, cobalt, copper, glass, gold, tin, lithium, zinc, and water, is also very important.

The carbon footprint needs to be a first-class design metric, be comprehensive, and take into account not only the performance of hardware, but also the factories where the hardware is built and the data centers where the hardware is deployed.

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8 best cheap laptops (2021): our picks for $700 or less | wired

8 best cheap laptops (2021): our picks for $700 or less | wired

Computers have put people on the moon and sent cute robots to Mars. You'd think somewhere in the miraculous technological utopia of our age, we'd also be able to get a decent laptop without spending a fortune.

All I want is something portable enough that doesn't give me back strain after toting it around for a day and powerful enough to get some basic work done. A light, "fast enough" laptop for under $700is that so much to ask? Fortunately, it is possible, but there are some trade-offs. You can't edit videos or play hardcore games on these machines. The displays won't be as sharp as more expensive models. We've tested a ton of cheap laptops, and for everyday tasks, these machines will do everything you ask of themand leave some money in your bank account.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-Year Subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you'd like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

WIRED: Acer's updated 14-inch Swift 3 is the best cheap laptop you can get. It wraps a midrange Intel Core i5 chip, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a 256-gigabyte solid state drive (SSD) in a no-nonsense design with a 1,920 x 1,080-pixel IPS LCD display. (IPS is a little nicer than some types of LCD.) The Swift 3 scored well for battery life in our video-based battery drain test, and it boasts four USB ports, including one USB-C port. I've also used the Intel i3 model, which gets even better battery life but with a noticeable loss of computing power.

WIRED: The Acer Aspire 3 offers the best value among all the 15-inch laptops I tested. You should get the model with an Intel Core i5, integrated graphics, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a 15.6-inch IPS display (1,920 x 1,080 pixels). The model we've linked to here comes with dedicated graphics (Nvidia GeForce MX230) and a 512-gigabyte SSD. It's big, and the display is not the sharpest, but it won't strain your eyes. There are ports galore (ethernet, USB, USB-C, HDMI, headphone jack), and it's powerful enough to watch 4K video.

WIRED: The HP Pavilion line has been a stalwart of reliable, if somewhat boring, laptops for what seems like ages now. This 14-inch model ticks all the basic cheap-laptop boxes, with a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, integrated graphics, and plenty of ports (including two USB-A, one USB-C, HDMI, and SD card reader). Where the Pavilion stands out is the option to get some extra RAM (12 GB instead of the usual 8 for only $40 more) and a 256-GB SSD. You also get some decently loud speakers and a very nice keyboard.

WIRED: When it's not on sale, Lenovo's AMD-based IdeaPad 5 is $60 over our budget price ceiling, but the Ryzen 7 processor will run circles around most of the rest of these laptops. If you need powerI have edited HD video on this machinethis one is worth it. You also get a very nice 14-inch IPS display, 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a 256-gigabyte SSD. The 360-degree hinge converts it to tablet mode, or stand mode for watching movies. To take full advantage of the two-in-one design, be sure to grab the digital pen ($45).

WIRED: If you're all-in on Google's Chrome OS, Acer's Chromebook 714 offers the best experience you'll get outside of Google's much more expensive Pixelbook laptops. The 8 gigabytes of RAM and Intel Core i3 chip make Chrome OS plenty snappy, and the Chromebook 714 manages nearly 12 hours of battery in our video drain test.

TIRED: The 14-inch touchscreen is sharp, though not the brightest. Chrome OS is not for everyone. It's not good for editing images in Photoshop or gaming, but if most of your work is web-based, it might be a good fit for you.

WIRED: Do you really need a cheap laptop? Could you get by with a tablet? The 2020 10.2-inch Apple iPad will be the perfect laptop replacement for some people. If you want great battery life, something that doubles as a way to browse the web from the couch, watch movies in bed, and still get a bit of work done during the day, the iPad fits the bill.

TIRED: The rub, or potential rub, lies in that last bit: Getting work done during the day. If you're mostly working with word processing documents, web-based tools, and other tasks the iPad is good at, it works great. I wrote and created this entire article using an iPad. But if your work involves software that doesn't run on the iPad, get a real laptop.

WIRED: The Lenovo Chromebook Duet (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is the most fun you'll have with Chrome OS in 2020. Some tasks, such as editing photos, are a challenge on its tiny screen, but it's perfect for browsing the web, emailing, editing documents online, and staying in touch with family via video chat. It's compact, lightweight, and surprisingly well built, and the keyboard is as good as what you get with the more expensive iPad or Surface Go.

TIRED: There's no SD card slot to expand your memory, so go for the more expensive model with a 1-terabyte drive. The caveats about Chrome OS apply here as well. This is a computer meant for web-based tasks. That's it.

WIRED: The Surface Go 2 gives you most, though not all, of the power of Windows in a very lightweight, portable form. It can also double as a media tablet when you're not working. There's a lot here to love: It's fanless, the updated 10.5-inch display is sharper, battery life has been improved, there's a MicroSD slot to expand the storage, and the cover is a really lovely little keyboard.

If your budget is tight and you want the most bang for your buck, or you just want to keep something out of the landfill, the used or refurbished laptop market is worth considering. I've had great luck buying used laptops on eBay from all sorts of sellers (both pros and regular people).

To score the best deal, make sure you know the market. Do some research to figure out a machine that suits your needs. The easiest to come by, and therefore (usually) the best deals, tend to be on more boring, business-oriented models. I happen to like ThinkPads, which are used by and then dumped all at once by large corporations, which means there are lots to choose from, and they're cheap.

Aim for these specs: Try to get a laptop with at least an 8th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB of storage (preferably a solid-state drive), and at least a 13-inch display that's close to HD.

Finding used laptops on eBay: Once you know what you want, search for it on eBay. Scroll down and check the option to show only "Sold Listings." Now take the 10 most recent sales, add up the prices, and divide by 10. That's the average price; don't pay more than that. Keep the lowest price in mindthat's the great deal price. Now, uncheck the Sold Listing option. See what's between the lowest price and that average price. Those are the deals you can consider. I suggest watching a few. Don't bid or participate at all. Just watch them until the end and see how high the auctions end up going.

Once you have a feel for the market and what you should be paying, you'll know when you've found a deal. When you find it, wait. Don't bid until the last few minutes of the auction. You don't want other bidders to have a chance to react. Remember that if you miss out on something, it's not the end of the world. There's always something new being listed on eBay.

WIRED is where tomorrow is realized. It is the essential source of information and ideas that make sense of a world in constant transformation. The WIRED conversation illuminates how technology is changing every aspect of our livesfrom culture to business, science to design. The breakthroughs and innovations that we uncover lead to new ways of thinking, new connections, and new industries.

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