21st February 2014 at Bramall Auditorium, University of Birmingham, UK
Rare earth elements play a vital role in many industrial sectors including energy generation, aerospace, automotive, electronics and catalysts to name but a few. In recent years the supply of rare earth materials has come under increasing pressure which has resulted in dramatic price fluctuations for these materials. The rare earth elements are now top of the critical materials lists in the EU, US and Japan. In particular neodymium and dysprosium, which are used in neodymium iron boron NdFeB permanent magnets, have been highlighted. There are several ways in which the current shortfall could be alleviated including: opening / re-opening rare earth mines in countries outside of China, using alternative devices which do not contain rare earth magnets, re-designing the applications to use the rare earths more efficiently, develop new magnetic materials with less or no rare earth elements or recycle the existing stock of rare earth magnetic materials contained within redundant equipment. This meeting will bring together leading academic and industrial experts on rare earth materials in the UK. It will provide an overview of the field and present possible solutions to the rare earth shortages from mine to market and then “end of life” recycling. The meeting will be attended by representatives of the UK funding councils. The following topics will be considered -
- Future supplies of rare earth materials and the likely impact of those supplies on the world market.
- The “balance problem” of rare earth elements and methods for extraction from mined ores.
- Materials – Current uses and future developments on the efficient use and substitution of rare earths.
- Applications containing rare earth materials – design considerations for more efficient use or possible substitution of rare earths.
- The challenges for recycling : Collection, identification, extraction and re-processing.
- EU Horizon 2020 – Calls relevant to critical and rare earth materials.