rare earths in green technology

Discussion in 'The big picture' started by raincrow, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. raincrow

    raincrow Junior Member

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    I recently became aware of these articles about rare earth metals which as I understand it are used in many different technologies including turbines for wind machines and electric cars. This seems to tarnish their "green" image.

    https://s.nyt.com/s/Em9ZQ68

    This goes into more detail about how they are mined.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200905/hybrid-cars-minerals

    And this seems to say we "greenies" should have known better.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/177940-rare-earths-jack-lifton-on-safeguarding-future-supply

    "Six hundred million people in the Western world are enjoying a life increasingly dominated by technology that we don't understand. In particular, we don't understand how it is made. What I see in America is a reluctance to admit that the green road starts in the black earth. We have to mine and refine the minerals and metals into forms which can then be fabricated into forms which can then be made into parts which can then be assembled into the technology devices we use to conserve energy. Everything starts at the mine or at the oil or gas well."

    "In the West, electronic devices using electricity produced by a huge network of generating devices control our transportation, communication, and our environment. We've got a grid that we talk about as if we understand it, but it's an extremely complicated system. We ignore the fact that we produce and distribute oil and its by-products, metals and their compounds and alloys. Nobody pays attention to that. All we do is say we've got to stop doing this and stop doing that. We have to start educating everyone as to how a metal becomes a radio or how a metal becomes a battery, how a battery propels a car."

    It's time to go to mars and mine their rare earths, or would it be rare mars' ?
     
  2. Don Hansford

    Don Hansford Junior Member

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    Guess the old saying is true - you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs :eek:)
    There has been two sides to the "Techno" debate since the heliograph was invented. One side saying that technology will save us, the other side saying that technology will doom us to early extinction.
    Face it - we are a parasitic species. Where most successful parasites provide at least some semblance of assistance to their hosts, we are like the strangler fig - all take & no give.
     
  3. Jana

    Jana Junior Member

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    We are parasitic and predatory species now, but only because we are immature spiritually. Our left-brain and prefrontal lobes have only significantly specialized in the last 40,000 years wherein the social-technical has become dominant. Now the neurological tide is turning and we are shifting back to building up the core self and the corpus callosum...this higher marriage of the hemispheres along will heart-intelligence and intuition will help us grow beyond the parasitic/predatory modes, so we can build societies of earth nurturers and beneficial earth husbandry. Things that will facilitate this shift include: sovereignty exercises and Sophanic philosophy, generosity of spirit in land regeneration projects, rawfoodism, ORMUS, international exchange of students in permaculture farms, rapid development of technology beyond hyrdrocarbon fuel, psychotropic morally advanced movies like Avatar...and my book Awakening Sovereignty.

    You can follow me here
    https://www.avatar-forums.com/general-discussion-forum/3387-childhood-noble-human.html#post81324
     
  4. Michaelangelica

    Michaelangelica Junior Member

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    Rare earth elements (REE) include the 14 lanthanides (4f elements): cerium (Ce), praseodymium (Pr), neodymium (Nd), promethium (Pm), samarium (Sm), europium (Eu), gadolinium (Parcerisa, Richardson, Rafecas, Codony, & Boatella, 1998), terbium (Tb), dysprosium (Hall, Vaive, & McConnell, 1995), holmium (Ho), erbium (Er), thulium (Duyck, Miekeley, Porto da Silveira, & Szatmari, 2002), ytterbium (Yb), and lutetium (Lu). Often lanthanum (La) and yttrium (Y) is included as well. No other group of elements in the periodic system displays such a great similarity with each other as the REE. With a few exceptions, their valence state is +3. The REE are grouped into LREE light rare earth elements that includes La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, and Eu and the heavy rare earth elements HREE that includes Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, and Lu. The LREE are usually more abundant in soils relative to the HREE which is also observed in rocks from Earth’s upper crust.

    The REE have neither been described as essential elements for life, nor as strongly toxic element in the environment, therefore little interest was focused on them (Tyler, 2004). Particular in China, the use of REE as fertilizer in agriculture is practiced because a low concentration of REE may promote growth and productivity of several crops ( [Tyler, 2004] and [von Tucher and Schmidhalter, 2005]). It is reported that the biomass production is increased by a range between 8% and 50%, with an average yield increase of 8–15% ( [Brown et al., 1990] and [Hu et al., 2004]).

    REE concentrations in plants are extremely variable and it should be noted that many mineral phosphorus fertilisers, if derived from apatite, contain appreciable amounts of REE which may influence the concentration in plants grown on cultivated soil. In addition the distribution of the individual REE in plants shows little or no agreement with that in the soil or the soil extract (Wyttenbach, Furrer, Schleppi, & Tobler, 1998).

    Like other trace elements, REE concentrations are elevated in roots and the concentrations decrease in the order of roots > leaves > seeds (Wyttenbach et al., 1998). Also Bei et al. have investigated this and notice that the concentrations of REE in root, leaf and stem increase remarkably when the REE fertilisers were applied (Bei, Dong-an, Xiao-quan, Fu-liang, & Shu-zhen, 2001). Normally the uptake path is via the roots, but REE can also be taken up through the leaf surface after fertiliser application through spraying (Sun, Zahao, & Wang, 1994).
    D. Joebstla, , , D. Bandonienea, T. Meisela, S. Chatzistathisa, b
    Food ChemistryIdentification of the geographical origin of pumpkin seed oil by the use of rare earth elements and discriminant analysis

    Volume 123, Issue 4, 15 December 2010, Pages 1303–1309
    https://www.mendeley.com/research/i...il-rare-earth-elements-discriminant-analysis/
     

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