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while rare-earth trade dispute heats up, scientists seek alternatives

by:Newland     2019-09-23
In the 21 st century, the dispute over natural resources will not only focus on oil and water, but also on language elements --
Distorted like Dy, y, ND. (
Related article: Picture: monopoly of rare earth minerals in China)
Perhaps the most important conflict so far. called \"rare-
\"Earth minerals\" opened in March 13, when the United States, Japan and the European Union filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization against China, which controls 95% of world output.
These 17 unknown elements are called rare, but they are actually common.
They are just scattered in such a small amount that the potential returns rarely make the cost of mining them worthwhile.
But they help the modern world to run, making mobile phones hum, producing bright colors that we see on TV, allowing computer hard drives to store data.
But what is rare
The strategic resources of the earth minerals are that they are an important part of new energy technologies that can be used in hybrid vehicles, more efficient large wind turbines, high
High efficiency fluorescent lighting and photovoltaic film. (
Related: \"Replace Oil addiction with metal dependence? \")The U. S.
The Department of Energy said that due to at least five rare supply challenges, the deployment of clean energy technologies could slow down in the coming yearsearth metals.
The new trade move is trying to force China to ease export restrictions, which other countries see as keeping prices for rare produce --
Outside the People\'s Republic, earth metal is artificially elevated.
But while the diplomatic process is slowly moving forward, scientists around the world are looking for breakthroughs that could bypass China and win more rare ones --
The earth metal of their country is independent. (
Related article: \"Can China go green? \")
These scientists believe their goal is to \"invent our methods in any serious reliance on rarity\"
\"Earth materials,\" said Mark Johnson, director of the US program. S.
Senior Research Project organizationEnergy (ARPA-E).
His agency was set up to fund transformation energy innovation in the United States and is one of the participants in this week\'s tripartite EU conference in Tokyo. Japan-U. S.
Rare Research Conference
A replacement for the Earth
This month\'s WTO action amounts to an open offensive in a process that could take months or years.
The United States, Europe and Japan believe that China has imposed some unfair export restrictions on key materials, including tariffs, quotas and pricing requirements.
Officials have requested \"consultations\" with China \",
If these negotiations fail to reach a resolution within 60 days, the state that filed the complaint may request the establishment of the WTO dispute resolution panel. (
Related: \"Picture: Rare Appearance inside China energy machine \")
But at the same time, in the lab, scientists are focusing on the goal of reducing or eliminating rare species.
Everything from the jet engine to the generator uses the earth element in a powerful permanent magnet. Rare-
The Earth minerals themselves are not magnets, but when added to magnetic elements like iron, they produce unique strong magnets that are impossible to move with both hands.
A little rare-
The earth metal has gone a long way.
These rare powersearth-
The enhanced magnets help to microsize the electronics and reduce the weight of the electric vehicle. When a rare-
Earth elements are combined with traditional metal elements such as iron, which form a unique crystal structure that aligns its magnetic orientation in one direction.
\"Imagine that each atom is a bar magnet arranged in parallel,\" said Frank Johnson, senior engineer at General Electric Global Research in nickauna, New York.
\"Just like they hold hands, the magnetic field from each atom is equivalent to a huge one.
Rare electronics-
Earth metals have a strong interaction with the atoms next to them, creating a strong pull force in one direction.
Ordinary magnetic materials like iron do not have this property and it is easy to demagnetic.
University of Delaware professor
Haji Panayis, who is together?
Invented the strongest rarity-
The earth magnet 30 years ago is now leading a team of scientists at ARPA
E. Manufacturing items that rely less on rare magnetsearth elements.
Like the team in George Clooney\'s Ocean Eleven, every member has to accomplish a lifetime feat, every member of ARPA --
The E-project team faces different big challenges.
Bill McCallum, a senior American material scientist, said. S.
Ames Lab, Iowa Department of Energy: \"Each of us has [to have]
At least one miracle scene is successful. \"(
Related: \"Storage in energy research grants, lead in biofuels $0. 156 billion \")
Hadjipanayis is trying to make a magnet that is more than twice as strong as neodymium iron boron (NdFeB)
He invented 30% to 40% less magnets.
Earth metal is more permanent than today\'s magnet. How?
By mixing a rare
Earth metal with nonrare-
Nano-Earth magnetic metalscale.
The tension between atoms less than 20 nanometers is particularly strong. Because rare-
Earth elements, especially Nano
\"It will take some time to learn how to do it,\" he said \".
At the University of Nebraska, Professor David Sellmyer tried to avoid these problems by making particles in a vacuum.
\"We make particles by splashing particles out of the sputtering gun, they collide with each other to form the structure we want,\" he explains . \".
McCallum is taking a different approach at Ames labs.
Not a rare one. earth-
Free magnet, he\'s doing a \"free rare-
\"Rare earth magnet\", one of the most abundant rare earth
Elements on Earth.
Unlike Hadjipanayis, he\'s just trying to make morerare-earth magnet.
Nowadays, NdFeB magnets are used in many applications;
No rare
The metal on Earth is not strong enough.
But if the Ames Lab can make something for electric cars and wind turbines, then rare earth elements can help save rare earth elements.
But cerium is tricky.
It has a special electron that likes to mix with the electrons in other metals, demagnetic the composite at the temperature at which the electric vehicle operates.
McCallum tries to find an element, such as hydrogen or nitrogen, that is mixed with ce to prevent improper electronic behavior in which ce has problems.
But stabilizing these gases is a challenge.
Learn from meteorites Laura Lewis, a professor at Northeastern University in Boston, may face the biggest obstacle.
Her mission is to be a rare one. earth-
Free magnets, using compounds found only in meteorites.
She tried to replicate a meteorite mixture of another layer of iron placed on nickel.
A large amount of iron and nickel themselves can easily be demagnetized.
But in this particular crystal structure, their strength makes it difficult for them to demagnetized.
The problem is: \"They can only be formed naturally, only one in ten every million years,\" Lewis said . \".
So it will take 1 billion years.
Lewis said she saw \"hints\" from an era\"saving man-made solution.
At the same time, GE Global Research uses its expertise to separate ARPA-
Projects to produce rare products
The scale of the Earth nano composite material.
\"You need to have an understanding [of]
Steven duc Los, chief scientist for global material sustainability at GE, said: \"What can reach tons . \".
\"This is as critical as any chemical reaction to success.
\"In other parts of the world, scientists are exploring many ways, including improving the NdFeB magnets of today.
One option is: reduce the content of rare earths, and the other rare --
Earth metal used in magnets.
Scientists have found that it is enough to place rare earth elements only at the boundary between particles in the magnet.
Northeastern University and intermetal compounds
Dys Co. , Ltd. in Japan, as well as Siemens companies in Germany, are looking for ways to apply dys in these places.
Scientists around the world are looking for a way to stand alone from rare species.
The metals on Earth, each of them, want to have their own magnetic fields.
If their efforts are successful, they will be able to promote the peace of new industries and even world trade. (
Related: \"In the United StatesS. -
China\'s tight energy and clean coal stimulate teamwork(
Related report: \"Is Canadian oil shipped to Texas by pipeline? \")
This story is part of a special series to explore energy issues.
For more, please visit the huge energy challenges.
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