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A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce
goods In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant ...

goods
, finished
products Product may refer to: Business * Product (business), an item that serves as a solution to a specific consumer problem. * Product (project management), a deliverable or set of deliverables that contribute to a business solution Mathematics * Produc ...
, energy, or intermediate materials that are feedstock for future finished products. As feedstock, the term connotes these materials are bottleneck assets and are required to produce other products. The term ''raw material'' denotes materials in unprocessed or minimally processed states; e.g., raw
latex Latex is a stable dispersion (emulsion An emulsion is a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally Miscibility, immiscible (unmixable or unblendable) owing to liquid-liquid phase separation. Emulsions are part of a more general class o ...

latex
,
crude oil Petroleum, also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isoc ...
,
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber Fiber or fibre (from la, fibra, links=no) is a natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of s ...

cotton
,
coal Coal is a combustible , Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , ...

coal
, raw
biomass Biomass is plant or animal material used as fuel to produce electricity Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position ...

biomass
,
iron ore Iron ores are rocks In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it i ...
,
air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosphere (0.04402961% at April 2019 concentration ). Number ...

air
, logs,
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known li ...

water
, or "any product of agriculture, forestry, fishing or
mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure form.John P. Rafferty, ed. (2 ...

mineral
in its natural form or which has undergone the transformation required to prepare it for international marketing in substantial volumes". The term ''secondary raw material'' denotes waste material which has been recycled and injected back into use as productive material.


Ceramic

While
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include , and . The place where such wares are mad ...

pottery
originated in many different points around the world, it is certain that it was brought to light mostly through the
Neolithic Revolution The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human culture Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior Social behavior is behavior Behavior (Ameri ...
. That is important mostly because of its ability to store and carry a surplus of supplies for the first agrarian. Although most jars and pots were fire-clay
ceramics A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant Corrosion is a Erosion, natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide, hydroxide, carbonate or sulfide. It ...

ceramics
, Neolithic communities created
kiln , Wrecclesham Wrecclesham is a village on the southern outskirts of the large town of Farnham Farnham is a market town in Surrey, England, within the Borough of Waverley Borough Council, Waverley.OS Explorer map 145:Guildford and Farnham ...

kiln
s that were able to fire such materials to remove most of the
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known li ...

water
to create very stable and hard materials. Without the presence of
clay Clay is a type of fine-grained natural soil Surface-water- gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland.">Northern_Ireland.html" ;"title="glacial till, Northern Ireland">glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic m ...

clay
on the riverbanks of the Tigris and Euphrates in the Fertile Crescent, such kilns would have been impossible for people in the region to have produced. Using these kilns, the process of
metallurgy Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering ''Materials Science and Engineering'' may refer to several journals in the field of materials science and engineering: * '' Materials Science and Engineering A'' * '' Materials Science ...
was possible once the
Bronze Bronze is an alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appear ...
and
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
s came upon the people that lived there.


Metallic

Many raw metallic materials used in industrial purposes must first be processed into a usable state. Metallic
ore ore – psilomelane Psilomelane is a group name for hard black manganese oxides including hollandite and romanechite. Psilomelane consists of hydrous manganese Manganese is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart- ...

ore
s are first processed through a combination of crushing, roasting, magnetic separation, flotation, and leaching to make them suitable for use in a
foundry A foundry is a factory A factory, manufacturing plant or a production plant is an industrial site, often a complex consisting of several buildings filled with machinery A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces an ...

foundry
. Foundries then
smelt Smelt may refer to: * Smelting, chemical process *The common name of various fish ** Smelt (fish), a family of small fish, Osmeridae ** Australian smelt in the family Retropinnidae and species ''Retropinna semoni'' ** Big-scale sand smelt ''Atherin ...
the ore into usable metal that may be
alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in ...
ed with other materials to improve certain properties. One metallic raw material that is commonly found across the world is
iron Iron () is a with Fe (from la, ) and 26. It is a that belongs to the and of the . It is, on , right in front of (32.1% and 30.1%, respectively), forming much of Earth's and . It is the fourth most common . In its metallic state, iron ...

iron
, and when combined with
nickel Nickel is a chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same nu ...

nickel
, this material makes up over 35% of the material in the Earth's inner and
outer core Earth's outer core is a fluid layer about thick and composed of mostly iron Iron () is a chemical element with Symbol (chemistry), symbol Fe (from la, Wikt:ferrum, ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal that belongs to the first transi ...
. The iron that was initially used as early as 4000 B.C. was called
meteoric iron Meteoric iron, sometimes meteoritic iron, is a native metal A native metal is any metal A metal (from Ancient Greek, Greek μέταλλον ''métallon'', "mine, quarry, metal") is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractu ...
and was found on the surface of the earth, as this type of iron came from the meteorites that struck the earth before the humans appeared and were in very limited supply. This type of
iron Iron () is a with Fe (from la, ) and 26. It is a that belongs to the and of the . It is, on , right in front of (32.1% and 30.1%, respectively), forming much of Earth's and . It is the fourth most common . In its metallic state, iron ...

iron
is unlike most of the iron in the earth, as the iron in the
earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

earth
was much deeper than the humans of that time period were able to excavate. The nickel content of the meteoric iron made it not need to be heated up, and instead, it was hammered and shaped into tools and weapons. Metallic raw materials on earth are very close to running out. The current throwaway economy hardly ever reuses the materials that are found in the earth, and unless that changes, there is a very limited amount of time before certain materials from the earth run out. Between
lead Lead is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Pb (from the Latin ) and atomic number 82. It is a heavy metals, heavy metal that is density, denser than most common materials. Lead is Mohs scale of mineral hardness#Intermediate h ...

lead
,
tin Tin is a with the Sn (from la, ) and  50. Tin is a silvery-colored metal that characteristically has a faint yellow hue. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand with little effort. When bent ...

tin
,
copper Copper is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

copper
,
iron ore Iron ores are rocks In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it i ...
, and
bauxite Bauxite is a sedimentary rock Sedimentary rocks are types of rock (geology), rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of mineral or organic matter, organic particles at Earth#Surface, Earth's surface, followed by cementation ( ...

bauxite
, there are at most 70 years left unless more readily available veins of materials are found in the near future.


Iron ore

Iron ore can be found in a multitude of forms and sources. The primary forms of iron ore today are
Hematite Hematite (), also spelled as haematite, is a common iron oxide Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member o ...

Hematite
and
Magnetite Magnetite is a mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it i ...

Magnetite
. While iron ore can be found throughout the world, only the deposits in the order of millions of tonnes are processed for industrial purposes. The top five exporters of Iron ore are Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, and Ukraine. One of the first sources of iron ore is
Bog Iron Bog iron is a form of impure iron Iron () is a chemical element with Symbol (chemistry), symbol Fe (from la, Wikt:ferrum, ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal that belongs to the first transition series and group 8 element, group 8 of t ...

Bog Iron
. Bog iron takes the form of pea-sized nodules that are created under peat bogs at the base of mountains.


Conflicts of raw materials

Places with plentiful raw materials and little economic development often show a phenomenon, known as "
Dutch disease In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods ...
" or the "
resource curseThe resource curse, also known as the paradox of plenty or the poverty paradox, is the phenomenon of countries with an abundance of natural resources (such as fossil fuel A fossil fuel is a fuel formed by natural processes, such as anaerobi ...
", which occurs when the economy of a country is mainly based upon its exports because of its method of governance.Bernard Tchibambelela, Le commerce mondial de la faim: stratégie de rupture positive au Congo-Brazzaville, Éditions L'Harmattan, 2009, p. 183. An example of this is the
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (frenc ...

Democratic Republic of the Congo
. Raw materials are also used by non-humans, such as birds using
found object A found object (a loan translation In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional ...
s and
twig A twig or stick is a thin branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientis ...

twig
s to create
nest A nest is a structure built for certain animals to hold eggs Eggs are laid by female animals of many different species, including bird egg, birds, reptiles, amphibians, a few monotreme, mammals, and fish, and many of these have been eaten ...

nest
s.


See also

*
Bulk cargo Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported packaging, unpackaged in large quantities. Description It refers to material in either liquid or granular, particulate form, as a mass of relatively small solids, such as petroleum/crude oi ...
* Bulk materials *
Bulk liquids Bulk cargo is commodity In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (eco ...
*
Biomaterial A biomaterial is a substance that has been engineered to interact with biological systems for a medical purpose, either a therapeutic (treat, augment, repair, or replace a tissue function of the body) or a diagnostic one. As a science, biomateria ...
*
Commodity In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plan ...
*
Conflict resource Conflict resources are natural resource , Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three federal t ...
*
Critical mineral raw materials Since 2011, the European Commission The European Commission (EC) is the Executive (government), executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Treaties of the European Union, ...
*
Downcycling Downcycling, or cascading, is the recycling of waste where the recycled material is of lower quality and functionality than the original material. Often, this is due to the accumulation of tramp elements in secondary metals, which may exclude th ...
*
List of building materials This is a list of building materials. Many types of building material Building material is material used for construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizat ...
* Marginal factor cost * Material passport *
Materials science The interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other fields like sociology, a ...
*
Nature Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxy, galaxies, and all other forms of matter an ...

Nature


References


Further reading

Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Karl Marx

''Capital'', Vol. 1, Part III, Chap. 7
{{Authority control Materials Minerals