Rare-earth elements (REEs) are used in small but often necessary amounts, in hundreds of different materials, chemicals and technologies worldwide, in commercial, industrial, medical, and environmental applications. Though REE permanent-magnet applications have become prominent in recent years, REEs still play and indispensable role in sectors such as catalysts, ceramics, pigments and glasses, glass polishing powders and additives, metallurgy and alloys, phosphors and so on. REEs have been referred to as ‘industrial vitamins’, given that they are indispensable for so many technologies, but don’t require bulk quantities.
However, we have a balance problem with REEs – an intrinsic challenge for REE markets, caused by the imbalance between demand for individual REEs, and their relative natural occurrence in REE ores.
Over-production of lanthanum (La), cerium (Ce) and yttrium (Y) products, to get access to neodymium (Nd), praseodymium (Pr), terbium (Tb) and dysprosium (Dy), has been one of the bottlenecks restricting the healthy and sustainable development of the global REE industry for years. Emission-reduction and energy-conservation targets greatly push further demand for Nd, Pr, Tb and Dy for permanent magnets, which leads to further over-production of La, Ce and other REEs.
It is a collective responsibility of the global REE industry to find sustainable solutions and to develop new applications, to relieve these issues. In that vein, there have been recent global efforts to develop and commercialise new applications for these abundant rare earths. Would you like to learn more about this?
Join us for a webinar organised by REIA in collaboration with the Inner Mongolia Rare Earth Industry Association, the Baotou Research Institute of Rare Earths and China Northern Rare Earths, where renowned speakers from leading global companies will discuss new and potential REE applications in the advanced nuclear-power industry, applications of La and Ce in low-carbon thermal-management materials, light REEs in catalysis and large-scale hydrogen storage fields.Register Here