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Dr. Saleem Ali: The Heavy Price Of Aluminum and The Journey To Industrial Sustainability

Dr. Saleem Ali: The Heavy Price Of Aluminum and The Journey To Industrial Sustainability


When you’re done using a product and throw it in the trash or recycling – do you think about what happens to it?

Aluminum – this lightweight metal is embedded in countless products, from soda cans to jets. But even with aluminum’s recyclability, inefficient practices mean we keep producing new aluminum instead of reusing what we’ve already produced. It’s a vicious cycle.


In the latest episode of The Darin Olien Show, I sit down with Dr. Saleem Ali, Professor of Energy and the Environment, to provide an insightful examination of aluminum, highlighting its omnipresence in our lives and the complex relationship humanity has with this abundant metal. We examine the pros and cons of aluminum use, from its critical role in various industries to its alarming presence in our bodies, and consider the environmental implications of its widespread application and the need for improved recycling practices and alternative materials.

Dr. Ali also shares his insights on how science and environmental concerns are often overshadowed by politics and the concept of circularity, inspired by Barry Commoner’s ecological laws, and how thinking in circles can apply to both personal consumption and business models.

Dr. Saleem Ali is is the Blue & Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment at the University of Delaware, UN International Resource Panelist, National Geographic Explorer, and author exploring sustainable resource use through books like “Earthly Order” and his new book “Soil to Foil: Aluminum and the Quest for Industrial Sustainability”.


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What we discuss…

(06:19) The truth about aluminum and sustainable use practices 

(12:51) Transportation and sustainability in modern society 

(24:51) Scientific cooperation in international relations and navigating crisis together 

(44:07) Empowering sustainable lifestyle choices in a world of conveniences

(49:35) Nuclear energy and environmental myths

(54:26) The impacts of the sharing economy on our environment 

(01:05:31) Nonprofit models for public knowledge and finding democratic solutions to challenges 

(01:20:26) Hope for innovation in Africa

…and more!


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