Semi-infinite supply of
rare-earth elements found
Researchers discovered a centuries worth of rare-earth elements within Japan’s economic exclusive zone and succeeded in establishing a mineral processing procedure that selectively recovers host minerals of rare-earth elements from deep-sea mud.
“Rare-earth elements and yttrium (REY) are critical in renewable energy technologies and electronics, for example, hybrid vehicles, rechargeable batteries, wind turbines, and light-emitting diodes, as well as medical technologies,” explains Yutaro Takaya, associate professor at Waseda University and leading author of this study. “Our findings may change the nation’s policies and strategies on natural resource management, for we could possibly become self-reliant in terms of rare-earth mineral resource and build a sustainable future.”
Their study was published online in Scientific Reports on April 10, 2018.