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Is a Rare Earth Replacement on the Way?

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Micro-crystals of zinc, which when combined with other common minerals, could be substituted in for rare-Earth...
Micro-crystals of zinc, which when combined with other common minerals, could be substituted in for rare-Earth metals in electronic devices(Credit: prill/Depositphotos)

Electronic devices are made possible thanks to a group of elements often referred to as rare-Earth metals, but as the name suggests, these may be in limited supply and are relatively expensive. Now, a team of scientists has found a way to combine much more common elements into electronically-useful compounds, which could find their way into tunable lighting and solar panels.

It takes all sorts of precious minerals to build electronic devices as smart as the ones we use everyday. Unfortunately many of these elements are quite hard to find and mine, making them expensive and prone to becoming even scarcer in the not-too-distant future.

“We’re in danger of running out of some of those elements because they’re not easy to recycle and they’re in limited supply,” says Roy Clarke, an author of the study. “It’s not viable for technology to rely on something that’s likely to run out on a scale of 10 to 20 years.”

Companies like Honda and Samsung are beginning to develop ways to recycle these elements, while scientists are also trying to find new ways to recover valuable components and tackle the ever-growing e-waste problem.

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

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