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2013
06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

2012
12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

2011
12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

2010
12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

2009
12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

2008
12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

2007
12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

2006
08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs


Vol. 8, No. 3. March 31, 2013
ISSN 1932-3018

Silver as high-tech material
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
  Output
Matter
(M)
Energy
(E)
Information
(I)
A
C
T
I
O
N
Process
Transport
Storage
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with the increasing role of silver in high-tech applications. It considers existing and anticipated uses, availability, and price trends. In terms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends it is concerned with the processing of matter (M).
Silver has two roles in society: (i) Physical use. (ii) Store of value.
In 2012 physical supply was 1048 million ounces, made up mainly of mining production of 787 million ounces, and re-used "old silver" of 254 million ounces. Other sources were negligible. On the demand side, 846 ounces were used in "manufacture". This included high-tech applications, conventional industrial use, coins, medallions, and jewelry. The residual - the amount that balances supply and demand - is characterized as: "implied net investment". [The Silver Institute, 2013, Silver Survey.]
Because of its unique physical attributes, silver is used in many high-tech applications: cell phones, computers, TVs, batteries and solar cells. Anticipated future developments include the large-scale use of silver’s anti-microbial features suited for medical applications, water purification and packaging.
However, questions arise concerning availability, and price stability. Silver’s price rose from an approximate average of USD 5.00 an ounce in 2003 to USD 31.00 in 2012. In 2013 the price tended towards the USD 20.00 level.
In evaluating future price and availability, technology explorers should consider the interplay of two trends. First, increasing price pressure caused by growing physical demand for silver as high-tech material. Second, decreasing price pressure, as signaled through the banking sector, and reflecting silver’s status as a store of value.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.