US to Build $120m Rare Earth Research Institute

Terbium, europium, neodymium – these are just a few of 17 rare earths that are factors behind the colors, sounds, power and endurance of cutting-edge technology in the medical, aeronautical, entertainment, communications, defense and transportation industries. China produces more than 95 percent of the world’s rare earths, and despite rapid technology turnover, only 1 percent of rare earths are recycled. The challenge is that, despite their special properties, the rare earths are chemically similar. The US Department of Energy is investing $120 million in a research center, based in Iowa, to develop new methods for environmentally sound rare-earth production, reports Katia Moskvitch, BBC News technology reporter. New research into recycling could hike the value of e-waste and ease exports of unwanted computers, phones and equipment to developing countries. – YaleGlobal

US to Build $120m Rare Earth Research Institute

China produces 95 percent of rare earths, essential for cutting-edge technology; US Department of Energy invests in research on processing, recycling methods
Katia Moskvitch
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Katia Moskvitch is technology reporter for BBC News.

BBC © 2013

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