Certain rare metals are necessary for the development of high-tech equipment and the next generation of automobiles. Currently, China provides more than 90 percent of the global market for these rare metals, such as lithium, terbium, and dysprosium. For instance, Japan depends on China for 97 percent of these rare metals. Since last year, Beijing announced that it would reduce exports of these rare metals worrying Japan and the U.S. By 2015, Chinese export of these rare metals is expected to drop to approximately 5,000 tons (Nikkei Weekly 1 March 2010). According to the Duowei Timesin Washington D.C., China is learning from the Australian model that controls its natural resources. From now on, advanced nations should not expect to obtain these rare metals easily from China. During the Sino-Japanese territorial disputes in September, China began to use its rate metals "card" to influence its diplomacy against Japan (Financila Times 28 September 2010). The USA also began to review its policy of the development of the rare metals. What are the rare earths used for (Japan Times 24 September 2010; Foreign Policy 29 September 2010)?
Energy-efficient Fluorescent Lights: europium, terbium, yttrium
Hybrid Vehicles: dysprosium, lanthanum, neodymium, praseodymium, terbium
Automotive Catalytic Converters: cerium
Wind Turbines: dysprosium, neodymium, praseodymium, terbium
Fiber Optics: erbium, europium, terbium, yttrium
IPods: dysprosium, neodymium, praseodymium, samarium, terbium
MRI Machines: lutetium crystals
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs: terbium
Halogen Lights: scandium
Friday, December 31, 2010
Rare-earth Metal Restriction
Labels: rare-earth metal
After growing up and studying in China and Japan, Dr. Suganuma went to the U.S. for graduate studies, earning master’s degrees at both St. John's University (in Chinese studies) and Syracuse University (in international relations) as well as a Ph.D. (in geography) from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University.