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 Implications of Emerging Vehicle Technologies on Rare Earth Supply and Demand in the United States

 Implications of Emerging Vehicle Technologies on Rare Earth Supply and Demand in the United States | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
We explore the long-term demand and supply potentials of rare earth elements in alternative energy vehicles (AEVs) in the United States until 2050. Using a stock-flow model, we compare a baseline scenario with scenarios that incorporate an exemplary technological innovation: a novel aluminum–cerium–magnesium alloy. We find that the introduction of the novel alloy demonstrates that even low penetration rates can exceed domestic cerium production capacity, illustrating possible consequences of technological innovations to material supply and demand. End-of-life vehicles can, however, overtake domestic mining as a source of materials, calling for proper technologies and policies to utilize this emerging source. The long-term importing of critical materials in manufactured and semi-manufactured products shifts the location of material stocks and hence future secondary supply of high-value materials, culminating in a double benefit to the importing country. This modeling approach is adaptable to the study of varied scenarios and materials, linking technologies with supply and demand dynamics in order to understand their potential economic and environmental consequences.
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Around CHF 1.5 million a year are lost via effluents and sludge from wastewater treatment plants in SwitzerlandNews Detail - Eawag

Around CHF 1.5 million a year are lost via effluents and sludge from wastewater treatment plants in SwitzerlandNews Detail - Eawag | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
3 million francs’ worth of gold and silver going to waste
October 10, 2017,Topics: WastewaterEcosystemsPollutants
A study just published by Eawag scientists shows that gold and silver each amounting to around CHF 1.5 million a year are lost via effluents and sludge from wastewater treatment plants in Switzerland. The concentrations measured do not pose risks to the environment – and recycling would not be economically worthwhile. However, the study also produced surprising findings on other trace elements in wastewater, including rare earth metals such as gadolinium and the heavy metal niobium.

Trace elements are increasingly widely used in the high-tech and medical sectors – for example, the transition metal tantalum and the semimetal germanium in electronic components, niobium and titanium in alloys and coatings, or gadolinium as a contrast medium and in luminous paints. While the ultimate fate of the various elements has been little studied to date, a large proportion is known to enter wastewater. A group of researchers led by Eawag environmental chemists Bas Vriens and Michael Berg has now carried out the first systematic, quantitative assessment of elements discharged in effluents or disposed of in sewage sludge. The study, involving 64 wastewater treatment plants across Switzerland, was commissioned by the Federal Office for the Environment.

1070 kilograms of gadolinium
It is interesting to note the per capita fluxes calculated for the Swiss population on the basis of the element concentrations measured. These range from a few micrograms (e.g. gold, indium, lutetium), or more than a milligram (e.g. zinc, scandium, yttrium, niobium, gadolinium), to more than a gram per day (e.g. phosphorus, iron, sulphur). While this may not seem much at first glance, the nationwide fluxes expressed in kilograms per year are quite substantial – 3000 kg of silver, 43 kg of gold, 1070 kg of gadolinium, 1500 kg of neodymium and 150 kg of ytterbium (see Table S9 in the original publication).

Recovery worthwhile only in exceptional cases
The averages and annual tonnages say little about the distribution of element concentrations, which vary widely – by a factor of up to 100 – from one treatment plant to another. For example, elevated concentrations of ruthenium, rhodium and gold were found in the Jura (presumably from the watchmaking industry), and of arsenic (presumably geogenic) in parts of Graubünden and Valais. At certain sites in Ticino, concentrations of gold in sewage sludge are sufficiently high for recovery to be potentially worthwhile. This can be attributed to the presence of several gold refineries in the region. Overall, however, according to the researchers, the recovery of metals from wastewater or sludge is scarcely worthwhile at present, either financially or in terms of the amounts which could be extracted. For example, the total aluminium and copper fluxes are equivalent, respectively, to only 0.2 and just under 4 per cent of annual Swiss imports.

WWTPs: hotspots for some, but not all elements
The study focused primarily not on recovery value, but on fluxes and mass balances: this is the first time trace elements in wastewater have been systematically surveyed for an industrialized country. The researchers investigated the extent to which treatment plants contribute to total fluxes in receiving waters. While, in the case of gadolinium, effluent inputs account for 83 per cent of river fluxes, the proportion is just 24 per cent for zinc, 7 per cent for lithium and only 1 per cent for arsenic. For the major nutrient phosphorus, measurements from this study confirmed earlier calculations: inputs from wastewater treatment plants account for 50 per cent of phosphorus loads in large Swiss rivers.

Lastly, the researchers also assessed the environmental relevance of the element concentrations. Studies in Germany have reported critical local concentrations of the rare earth metals lanthanum and samarium in the Rhine. This does not appear to be an issue in Switzerland: in the vast majority of cases, concentrations were of no ecotoxicological concern and lay below specified limits. Elevated concentrations in effluents or sludge were only found at a few sites in the case of the heavy metals copper and zinc. At the same time, as the authors emphasize, little is known as yet about the potential toxicological effects of many emerging trace elements.

Original publication
Quantification of Element Fluxes in Wastewaters: A Nationwide Survey in Switzerland; Bas Vriens, Andreas Voegelin, Stephan J. Hug, Ralf Kaegi, Lenny H. E. Winkel, Andreas M. Buser, and Michael Berg; Environmental Science & Technology 2017 51 (19), 10943-10953
(Coverstory des Oktoberhefts): http://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.7b01731

Photos/graphics

Median fluxes per capita per day for 62 elements, based on measurements at 64 wastewater treatment plants in Switzerland.
(Source: Eawag)


Sampling at the Werdhölzli treatment plant in Zurich.
(Photo: Eawag, Elke Suess)
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Battery makers descend on Australia, Canada cobalt developers

Battery makers descend on Australia, Canada cobalt developers | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Nervous Asian battery makers are turning to early-stage cobalt projects in Australia and Canada to lock in supplies of the critical battery ingredient ahead of expected shortages as demand for electric vehicles revs up.

Mine developers say interest from Japanese and Korean firms is particularly strong as they compete with rivals from China, which has built deep supply chain ties with the Democratic Republic of Congo, the world's top producer.
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President’s executive order could mean less dependence on critical mineral imports | The American Ceramic Society

President’s executive order could mean less dependence on critical mineral imports | The American Ceramic Society | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
[Image above] Credit: Critical Materials Institute; YouTube
 
 
Last year, rare earths were a hot topic on Ceramic Tech Today.
 
We reported on the mission and priorities of the C
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The United States Is Dependent on Other Nations for Critical and Strategic Minerals

The United States Is Dependent on Other Nations for Critical and Strategic Minerals | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
The United States Is Dependent on Other Nations for Critical and Strategic Minerals, critical minerals, mining, President Trump, rare earth minerals, Strategic minerals, U.S. Geological Survey, United States, weapons systems, cellphones, solar panels, lithium ion batteries, and many high-technology products
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Cornish mining startup hopes to prospect for lithium with satellites

Cornish mining startup hopes to prospect for lithium with satellites | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
There was a time when prospecting for valuable metals involved wading knee deep into a Californian river with an iron pan in the hope of finding a scrap of gold.
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This Commodity Investor Is Hoarding the World’s Cobalt Supply - Bloomberg

Backed by a Russian billionaire, Anthony Milewski started stockpiling the metal in 2015.
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Metal-eating microbes are cost-effective for recycling rare earth elements 

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Nissan's EV campaign expected to get boost from Mitsubishi investment

Nissan's EV campaign expected to get boost from Mitsubishi investment | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Nissan may get a boost from a deepening relationship with Japan's biggest trading house as access to battery materials becomes a priority amid the industry's push into electric vehicles.
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THE RARE-EARTH ELEMENT BALANCE PROBLEM REVISITED


February 12, 2018
Following their previous, widely-cited work with respect to the rare-earth element Balance Problem, Prof. Binnemans and colleagues have just published a thorough update of this key issue in a review article in the Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy. The paper is a collaboration between SIM² KU Leuven, Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) and TECNALIA, in the context of the EU REMAGHIC project.

The Balance Problem revisited

The balance between the market demand and the natural abundance of the rare-earth elements (REEs) in ores, often referred to as the Balance Problem (or the Balancing Problem), is a major issue for REE suppliers. The ideal situation is a perfect match between the market demand for and the production of REEs, so that there are no surpluses of any of the REEs. This means that the rare-earth industry must find new uses for REEs that are available in excess and search for substitutes for REEs that have either limited availability or are high in demand. The new study presents an overview of the trends in the applications for the different REEs and shows that the demand for REEs for use in magnets, catalysts, and alloys is still increasing, while the application of REEs in polishing agents, glass, and ceramics are stable. On the other hand, the use of REEs in nickel–metal-hydride (NiMH) batteries and lamp phosphors is decreasing. These changes in the REE market have an influence on the Balance Problem, because the REEs that can be recycled from fluorescent lamps, cathode-ray tubes (CRTs), and NiMH batteries have to be at least partly reused in other applications. Magnesium and aluminum alloys offer an opportunity to mitigate the Balance Problem caused by these changes in the REE market. This is illustrated for REEs that can be recycled from fluorescent-lamp phosphor waste, CRT phosphors, and NiMH batteries. At present, five REEs (Nd, Eu, Tb, Dy, and Y) are being considered as very critical by Europe, the United States, and Japan, but the authors forecast that in the medium term, only neodymium will remain a critical REE. This paper discusses the relationship between criticality and the Balance Problem and shows how this relationship influences the market for specific REEs.

Key info review paper

Download (golden open access paper) through https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs40831-018-0162-8.pdf
Full reference: K. Binnemans, P.T. Jones, T. Müller, L. Yurramendi, Rare Earths and the Balance Problem: How to Deal with Changing Markets?, Journal of Sustainable Metallurgy, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40831-018-0162-8

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Resources | Free Full-Text | Analyzing Platinum and Palladium Consumption and Demand Forecast in Japan | HTML

Resources | Free Full-Text | Analyzing Platinum and Palladium Consumption and Demand Forecast in Japan | HTML | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Platinum and palladium are used in small but essential quantities in a variety of advanced industrial sectors. Platinum and palladium are used as catalysts in various industrial sectors, especially in the car industry. However, their sources are typically concentrated in South Africa and Russia, and there are concerns about supply security. In terms of resource security, it is important to verify domestic platinum and palladium consumption trends and future demand. In order to understand the domestic platinum and palladium consumption trends in Japan, we tracked the historical platinum and palladium consumption structures from 2001 to 2013, applying a bottom-up approach, and illustrated recent domestic platinum and palladium flow by using a substance flow analysis. The results showed that catalytic converters (9.1–12.8 t) and jewelry (5.3–15.5 t) for platinum, and catalytic converters (14.2–20.0 t) and dental use (9.5–16.4 t) for palladium, have marked the biggest consumption sectors during 2001–2013, where the total consumption of platinum and palladium have fluctuated by 18.4–31.6 t for platinum and from 33.0–46.3 t for palladium. We also forecasted the demand for each end-use of both up to the year 2025 using multiple regression analysis. Our results suggest that platinum demand could decrease from 18.9 t in 2013 to 11.9 t in 2025 and palladium demand could slightly decrease from 33.0 t in 2013 to 13.8 t in 2025.
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How Renewables Will Change the Geopolitical Map of the World | REVE

How Renewables Will Change the Geopolitical Map of the World | REVE | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
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Le Burundi fait discrètement son entrée dans les terres rares

Le Burundi fait discrètement son entrée dans les terres rares | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Le très peu concurrentiel marché des terres rares, dont la production est assurée à 93% par la Chine, compte un nouvel acteur. En Afrique de... - Mines - métaux
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Suez to recover non-ferrous from bottom ash in Belgium

Suez to recover non-ferrous from bottom ash in Belgium | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Bottom ash from waste management firm Suez is to have the non ferrous metal component recovered at a plant being developed in Ghent, Belgium.
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Factors and competitiveness analysis in rare earth mining, new methodology: case study from Brazil

Factors and competitiveness analysis in rare earth mining, new methodology: case study from Brazil | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Rare earths are increasingly being applied in high-tech industries, such as green energy (e.g. wind power), hybrid cars, electric cars, permanent high-performance magnets, superconductors, luminophores and many other industrial sectors involved in modern technologies. Given that China dominates this market and imposes restrictions on production and exports whenever opportunities arise, it is becoming more and more challenging to develop business ventures in this sector. Several initiatives were taken to prospect new resources and develop the production chain, including the mining of these mineral assets around the world, but some factors of uncertainties, including current low prices, increased the challenge of transforming the current resources into deposits or productive mines.
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Strategic minerals – Our next energy and security crisis?

Strategic minerals – Our next energy and security crisis? | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Foreword: America has had its share of oil-centered energy problems and disruptions. Now it faces potential renewable energy and high technology crises, because of its heavy reliance on imports of the rare earth and other strategic minerals that are the essential building blocks for wind turbines, solar panels, computers, smart phones, medical diagnostic devices, night…
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Toyota Motor Corp readies cheaper electric motor by halving rare earth use | Business Standard News

Toyota Motor Corp readies cheaper electric motor by halving rare earth use | Business Standard News | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Read more about Toyota Motor Corp readies cheaper electric motor by halving rare earth use on Business Standard. Toyota sees demand for neodymium exceeding supply from 2025, by which time the carmaker intends to be offering an electrified version of every vehicle in its lineup
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La fragile résurrection de Lynas dans les terres rares

La fragile résurrection de Lynas dans les terres rares | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Dans un marché des terres rares presque monopolisé par la Chine (95% de la production), les performances de l’australienne Lynas ont de quoi étonner. Le... - L'Usine Matières premières
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Tesla's electric motor shift to spur demand for rare earth neodymium

Tesla's electric motor shift to spur demand for rare earth neodymium | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Tesla's shift to a magnetic motor using neodymium in its Model 3 Long Range car adds to pressure on already strained supplies of a rare earth metal that had for years been shunned because of an export ban by top producer China.
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Untapped gold mine is lost from end-of-life vehicles | Chalmers

Untapped gold mine is lost from end-of-life vehicles | Chalmers | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Metals, such as gold, cobalt and lithium, are an indispensable part of our batteries, mobile phones, electronic gadgets and vehicles. At the same time, Europe is highly dependent on imports of metals, which makes some of them critical for the EU. "These metals are required for the ongoing transition
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Toyota promises cheaper electric car motor magnets within a decade | News

Toyota promises cheaper electric car motor magnets within a decade | News | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
Careful material engineering enables alloys using more abundant rare earth elements than neodymium
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Large-Scale WEEE Recycling Integrated in an Ore-Based Cu-Extraction System

Large-Scale WEEE Recycling Integrated in an Ore-Based Cu-Extraction System | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
At Boliden’s Rönnskär smelter, WEEE is smelted in a Kaldo process and the black copper, together or without the slag, is charged to the PS converter. This process route has proven to be a viabl
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Resources | Free Full-Text | Implications of Emerging Vehicle Technologies on Rare Earth Supply and Demand in the United States | HTML

Resources | Free Full-Text | Implications of Emerging Vehicle Technologies on Rare Earth Supply and Demand in the United States | HTML | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
We explore the long-term demand and supply potentials of rare earth elements in alternative energy vehicles (AEVs) in the United States until 2050. Using a stock-flow model, we compare a baseline scenario with scenarios that incorporate an exemplary technological innovation: a novel aluminum–cerium–magnesium alloy. We find that the introduction of the novel alloy demonstrates that even low penetration rates can exceed domestic cerium production capacity, illustrating possible consequences of technological innovations to material supply and demand. End-of-life vehicles can, however, overtake domestic mining as a source of materials, calling for proper technologies and policies to utilize this emerging source. The long-term importing of critical materials in manufactured and semi-manufactured products shifts the location of material stocks and hence future secondary supply of high-value materials, culminating in a double benefit to the importing country. This modeling approach is adaptable to the study of varied scenarios and materials, linking technologies with supply and demand dynamics in order to understand their potential economic and environmental consequences.
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The Breakneck Rise of China’s Colossus of Electric-Car Batteries | Bloomberg New Energy Finance

The Breakneck Rise of China’s Colossus of Electric-Car Batteries | Bloomberg New Energy Finance | Raw Materials Scarcity | Scoop.it
The next global powerhouse in the auto industry comes from a small city in a tea-growing province of southeast China, where an unheralded maker of electric
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