Rare Earths – Vitamins for the high tech industry
Each element has similar chemical properties and is always found in a group of minerals, but it is important to note that each element has various uses that apply electronic and physical characteristics. Rare earth are called the “vitamins for high-tech industry”.
In natural resources, rare earth elements exist as a mixture, but it is necessary to separate each element when it is used. However, because of their similar chemical properties, advanced technology is required for the isolation and purification of these rare earths.
REE’s are split into the Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE’s) and the Heavy Rare Earth Element’s (HREE’s). The HREE’s are considerably less abundant and hence much more valuable than the LREE’s. Yttrium is considered a member of the HREE group.
Industrial Uses of Critical HREE’s
Magnets / Power Generation
Rare earth magnets are used in wind turbines. Some large turbines require two TONS of rare earth magnets. These magnets are very strong and make the turbines highly efficient. Rare earth magnets are used in turbines and generators in many alternative energy applications.
Hydrogen Storage / Batteries
Many rechargeable batteries are made with rare earth compounds. Demand for the batteries is being driven by demand for portable electronic devices such as cell phones, readers, portable computers, and cameras. Several kilograms of rare earth compounds are in batteries that power every electric vehicle and hybrid-electric vehicle.
Utilisation of REE for the treamtent and removal of Phosphorus in water using REE coagulants.
Needed in applications such as petroleum refining, chemical process, catalytic conversions and industrial pollution scrubbers
For advanced and high tech frames of next-generation electric and hydrogen vehicles.
Flourescent Smart Lighting
Smart florescent light for smart homes, pigments and fertilizers.
Creation of high spec capacitors, sensors, colorants and scintillartors.
For polishing compounds, precision optical and UV resistant glass and thermal control mirrors for solar power stations.
Elements such as Europium was the essential material for producing the color images for medical imaging, lasers and optical temperature sensors.