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The future of rare earth recycling – Companies are scrambling to find ways to reuse costly rare earth elements

May 28, 2017

Scienceline, March 2014

What do a smartphone, a hybrid car and a Tomahawk cruise missile have in common? They won’t work without obscure rare earth elements. Scarce materials like europium, neodymium and others are now so in demand that companies and governments are urgently considering unlikely places to mine them, including deep under the sea and, someday, even asteroids.

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SOLVOMET is KU Leuven’s Centre for Solvometallurgy. SOLVOMET’s mission is to support its industrial and RTD partners in the conceptual and practical development of more sustainable solvometallurgical separation processes and new mining chemicals, which are subsequently tested using state-of-the-art lab-scale and mini pilot-scale experimental facilities.

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