International Policy Needed for Recycling Rare-Earth Metals
An international policy is needed for recycling scarce specialty metals that are critical in the production of consumer goods, according to Yale researchers in Science. “A recycling rate of zero for specialty metals is alarming when we consider that their use is growing quickly,” says co-author Barbara Reck, a research scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.
Specialty metals, which include rare earth elements such as indium, gallium and germanium, account for more than 30 of the 60 metals in the periodic table. Because they are used in small amounts for very precise technological purposes, such as red phosphors, high-strength magnets, thin-film solar cells and computer chips, recovery can be so technologically and economically challenging that the attempt is seldom made.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/international-policy-needed-recycling-metals