Modern technologies require transition metals and rare earths. They are little known, but also important as copper and aluminum – points out “Puls Biznesu”.
Rare earth elements are not so rare because in the earth’s crust they are more than gold or platinum. However, there are not many such fields, whose exploitation is profitable. In addition, most often they occur together, and their separation is expensive.
The group is made up of 17 elements, including 15 lanthanians and scandium and yttrium. They have been discovered over the last 200 years. However, their career began only after World War II, when technologies began to be applied, and even those that could be developed and developed by these elements.
They are used in cell phones, laptops and smartphones, catalysts, LCD screens, LEDs, battery cells, wind turbines, hard drives, hybrid and electric motors. They are used in the optical and reinforcement industries. But also in ovens with self-cleaning coating.
In Northern Europe, precious materials from half of small electronics are not used because they go to drawers or landfills. Christer Forsgen, head of environment and technology at Stena Metall Group (a European leader in the recycling of waste electrical and electronic equipment), is needed to recycle rare earth and difficult to obtain.