Process Technology

Home Process Answers

Processing Systems harvest or gather raw materials, (plants, animals, water, air, ores and minerals) to transform them into a usable form. These processed goods may be used directly once transformed into a usable form, such as fish fillets, eggs, or natural gas. They may be the needed materials required by construction and manufacturing systems such as lumber, steel, or plastic and rubber.  
Raw materials we collect from our natural resources fall under one of 2 categories; either our renewable or non-renewable resources. Renewable resources such as trees, pigs, fish, and water for hydro are resources that can replenish themselves in a reasonable timeframe as long as the resource is managed properly, and/or man doesn't mismanage something else that could devastate the resource indirectly. For example: Over fishing of the cod stocks off of Newfoundland has shut down the industry in resent times. The same could be said of the salmon fishery in the Margaree River. Conservation of our natural resources will help insure they last, but other things can side blind those efforts. For example; Industrial pollution caused the shutdown or at least restrictions to fishing in areas on the Great Lakes in the past. Global warming is threatening our polar bear population.
  AS you can see, there is good reason to monitor and regulate, in other words, protect our natural renewable resources as well as our non renewable resources.

Non-renewable resources such as coal, petroleum and natural gas are gone once they are used. They do not have a replenishing ability. Much of the Non- renewable resources that we extract from the earth are ores and minerals.  Pictures of open pit mining at Evan's mine where they once used shaft mining techniques.
In the above pictures they are actually preparing a ramp down to the coal seam where they will extract the coal deposit and truck it out. Below,  are later pictures of the coal extraction process. Note: the large pump to the left pumping out the water that would otherwise hinder the process.

Minerals are elements who's chemical make up originated from non living substances, and their makeup is constant where ever they are found in the world. Nickel, gold, uranium, zinc , platinum are all mined in Canada. Ores may be pure elements or the result of a combination  of substances that may or may not have originated from living organisms. Coal is an example of an ore, as are petroleum and natural gas, and Gypsum. All are extracted in our part of the country. Coal is also called a fossil fuel because, like oil, it is the product of remains of plants and animals under pressure and heat over millions of years. It's chemical make up from one source to another will not necessarily be the same. Evan's mine used to supply Point Tupper Power Generation Station with coal to fuel it's turbine, because of the sulfur content, Nova Scotia Power began to import coal that had a composition that burned well with emissions that were less destructive to the environment and/or cheaper to meet regulations. 
Mining plays an important role in the economy of Nova Scotia. People are always trying to balance the value of mining and the costs, environmental etc., gypsum and coal have been important (mined) material resources to Nova Scotia for a long time. The problem with much of Canada's natural resources is that we export the raw material to other countries such as the US, and import the finished product for which they were intended. The US reaps the benefit (the profit) of the added value and the jobs that are created as a result. Such is the case with the bulk Cape Breton's gypsum. Millions of tons of Gypsum is shipped to the US where it is processed into wall board and gyprock. We not only end up buying the finished product from them instead of it being the other way around, we miss out on the benefits to our economy that such a facility would provide.

Natural gas is a new resource beginning to be exploited off of Nova Scotia. "ClicK" to learn more. As we saw earilier in the video, natural and petroleum products account for over 1/2 of all mining revenue. The natural gas coming from Sable lands in Goldboro where it is processed and either sent/piped to the States or piped to the Point Tupper's liquid processing facility. where All of these resources are natural material resources, as nature provided them for us to mine and process. Some processes simply extract the resource and package it into manageable units. Other processes also change the resource, or mix that resource, into a product or material of special properties.

  Steel has long been a major contributor to our economy, and it perpetuated the mining industry, especially coal. Although there no longer is a steel plant in Sydney, it certainly played a major role in our local economy. Our coal industry may be on the rebound as a fuel for producing power. Developers are working to reopen Duncan mine as an open pit mine which is causing quit a stirr. 

Alloys are metal materials that are combined to produce a new singular material with special characteristics. For example an aluminum and copper alloy is much stronger than either metal by itself. Copper mixed with zinc produces brass, when copper is combined with tin you get bronze. Each of these copper alloys have their own special properties that makes them best suit the particular products for which they are designed. Think of making alloys like making cookies. There are many different recipes to make all kinds of different cookies.  Germany developed carbide steel during wartime, when they could not get much needed supplies of high speed steel for cutting tools. Carbide steels are about 10 times more efficient than high speed tool steel. These are alloy steels. Alloys such as tungsten and cobalt make steel much stronger and wear resistant. 
Alloys are important not only because their properties can make them more use full (longer lasting, stronger, wear and weather resistant and so-on) than those provided by mother nature, but they can substitute for materials/natural resources that maybe running out. Some alloys may even serve in areas where mother nature simply has no solution. 

Questions (A):

  1.  Define what processing systems do.

  2. Give 5 examples of different kinds of raw materials.

  3. Using examples, explain the difference between renewable and non-renewable resources.

  4. What is the difference between oars and minerals?

  5. a) What are 5 common minerals mined in Canada? 
    b) Which 2 make up over 1/2 of all the mining in Canada?
    c) Where is over 83% of Canada's gypsum come from?
    d) How much propane can Point Tupper produce in one day?

  6. What is an alloy?

  7. Why alloys so special? In other words, what purpose do they serve?


People are continuously coming up with "new and improved" materials. Manmade, or synthetic materials are also material resources that require processing. Synthetic materials are non-metallic materials that are processed; often as the result of chemical reaction due to mixtures (like a recipe) and/or environmental conditions (heating and cooling process, for example, or refining as another) to produce a product with specific properties. Plastics, resins and epoxies are obvious manmade materials that are not found in nature, and fulfill our needs in a means nature could not. Sometimes man makes alternative or improved materials for the ones nature provides for us, such as certain rubbers and oils. 
There are different reasons for which synthetic materials are invented:

Plastics, ( Size and Structure of the Industry) are another example of synthetic materials that are delivering many new products with special qualities and characteristics. Plastics are petroleum byproducts. 
Recycled materials: Sometimes we get a second use from a product, and becomes reprocessed.

There are many things made from petroleum ranging from food additives, to dies, to clothing. All of these materials are processed and available in standard stock for use in construction and manufacturing industries. 
Standard stock
is processed raw materials into units of a usable form. The measures of units depend on the product:

Most things are, in fact, are processed into a standard stock form that is measured or identified by a combination of the above units. Usually size and shape are at least 2 required identifiers of standard stock. Standard stock, such as 1/2" (4' x 8')  sheets of #1, clear birch plywood, is actually identified by size ( specific thickness, and an assumed standard width and length), grade, blemishes. 1 x  2 x 3' polyurethane yellow bar stock (size, finish/color and shape), and 1 diameter hot rolled 1020 mild steel round bar (size, finish, grade and shape) are material resources that have been processed into standard stock (a form  for further use by other producers). Coils of steel stock at Tesma to be punched into transmission parts. These may be 250lb coils of 1/4"X 6" cold rolled 1010 mild steel. (Quantity, shape, size, finish & grade)
Other important natural material resources to this area are trees, fish and farm products. Here are "the boys" piling (standard stock) 1"x3"x8' juniper boards in a local wood flooring manufacturer.

 The producers of standard stocks are referred to as primary processors or manufacturers, as their product will be utilized by secondary processing, for further processing, construction or manufacturing operations.

Questions (B):

  1. What are synthetic materials? give 3 examples.

  2. What are 3 reasons for producing synthetic materials?

  3. Define "Standard stock".

  4. Using an example, show 3 ways we identify a particular material or product as standard stock.

  5. What is the difference between primary and secondary processors? give 2 examples of each.

Lumber & Agriculture

Canada's lumber Industry is broken into a number of segments such as lumber (as in boards), plywood, pulp and paper milling (newspaper and magazine craft is produced in Port Hawkesbury).

  harv8.jpg (288939 bytes)  This is a picture of the first stage or operation of a primary processor that transforms wood (trees) into standard stock (8 ft. long logs).

Canada's 280,000 farms are broken into 2 areas of agriculture; ranching and farming. Farming of crops such Annapolis valley's apples, Mr. Bragg's and Mr. MacKinnon's blueberries, PEI potatoes are obviously large players in the local farming industry. Our local ranching industry through our dairy and beef producers contribute to Canada's 13,000,000 head of cattle. We have many other ranch producers such as free range chickens, other poultry products, pigs, horses, lamas, emus and so-on.

 One controversial aspect of agriculture today is in regards to genetically altered food and/or organic vs. non organic food. 
genetic food controversy.

  1. Using the following link:
    Indentify 2 areas of farming on the rise and 2 on the decline in Nova Scotia, as well as 2 that are fairly stable. Explain using statistics why you have come to these conclusions. Fish is a primary renewable natural resource to this area. The fish resources from both the ocean, and our lakes and streams, are not what they used to be. There are many things that attribute to what should be a rest assured renewable resource from becoming a, more so, non renewable resource. The next video illustrates how a particular fish, one very important to our area, LOBSTER, was threatened directly by over fishing practices and indirectly by reduced habitat. 

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Conservation in the fishery

Questions (C):

1.) using the link below answer the following:
2004 Fish and Seafood Statistics Overview

a.) According to the information, we export seafood that is processed 19 in different ways, identify 6 forms or means of processing seafood for export.

b.) What do find when you compare the value and quantity of live vs frozen exports? Why do you think these stats are this way?

C.) North America (US) is the biggest importer of Nova Scotia seafood products; what continent do we export the 2nd largest amount, our 2nd largest market?

D.) Species of seafood/fish are broken into 3 categories What species is the most caught, the most valuable in the category of ground fish, other fin fish, and shellfish?

E.) How does fish as a product group compare to the rest of the total exports in Nova Scotia?

What are 6 natural resources that provide raw materials in our region?