Rare Earth Elements Underpin Modern Electronics, and Really are Rare

Rare earth elements really are rare, in the sense that replacements are difficult to non-existent, according to a study. Rare earth elements are used in smart phones and other modern electronics. 

In looking at substitution potential for 62 different metals, researchers found that, for a dozen different metals, the potential substitutes for their major uses are either inadequate or appear not to exist at all.

Those 12 elements are rhenium, rhodium, lanthanum, europium, dysprosium, thulium, ytterbium, yttrium, strontium, thallium, magnesium, and manganese.

Further, for not one of the 62 metals are exemplary substitutes available for all major uses.

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