One thing that is common in a hybrid car, a smart phone and a tomahawk cruise missile is that they all are useless without rare earth magnets. Materials like europium, neodymium and other scarce materials are very high in demand. The demand is so urgent that the government and the companies are looking for places to mine these materials including the deep sea and even asteroids.
As the demand increases, it will become harder and harder for the companies to find these scare materials for manufacturing the most common and popular appliances. There is a solution to this problem of more demand and less supply – recycling.
Even though it is not easy to successfully carry out the recycling project, according to the researchers and the scientists it is believed that if the rare earth magnets are recycled from discarded products and scrap materials the global demand can be fulfilled up to 40%.
By implementing the recycling method it can help the western nations and the US. China dominates the market for these rare earth magnets now, but with the help of recycling project we can effectively control the supply and price margins.
The main thing about rare earth magnets is that they are actually not that “rare”. If you look at the two scarcest materials lutetium and thulium, then you might notice that they are available 200 times more than gold. The main problem which makes them scarce is that they are very hard to mine as they are unevenly spread inside the earth’s crust.
It is believed that rare earth magnets are the two main components for all the new technological applications. Neodymium and the samarium cobalt magnets are the two strongest magnets available today. These two elements are most important in making headphones and computer hard drives.
Cerium on the other hand is a very powerful catalyst. This element is used as an additive for diesel fuels. Terbium and europium is used for making fluorescent light bulbs. The increase in demand for these rare earth magnets have made all the countries strive to get their share.
According to the present situation China dominates the market with a holding of about 80% of the world supply of rare earth magnets.
The recycling project –
As China dominates the market with 80% of the world’s supply, the price for the supply of these rare earth magnets is pretty high. Even though it is almost impossible to decrease the demand of these rare earth magnets, we can reuse the ones that are discarded or scraped.
It is possible to produce bulk rare earth magnets with the help of recycling project. Recycling projects can be started by asking people to dispose their electronics in a particular way so that it can reach the people, who can recycle the magnets used in those electronics. Recycling can be first started in a small scale and slowly and efficiently implemented globally.
If we like to use our daily application and products, which are made up of these rare earth magnets in future, then it is time to start recycling today.