What is rare earth?
1. What are rare earth?
Rare earth is a mineral resource. In 1794, Finnish chemist gadolin separated the first rare earth “element” – yttrium (Y ǐ soil) from a heavy asphalt like ore. Because rare earth minerals were found at that time were very few, only a small amount of water insoluble oxides could be obtained by chemical method. Historically, it was called “soil”, so it was named rare earth.
Rare earth is the general name of 17 chemical metal elements. It is usually divided into light rare earth and heavy rare earth, so it is not soil.
The light rare earth includes lanthanum (L á n), cerium (SH), praseodymium (P ǔ), neodymium (n ǚ), promethium (P ǒ), samarium (SH n), europium (Y ǒ U).
Heavy rare earth includes gadolinium (g á), terbium (t è), dysprosium (D ī), holmium (HU), erbium (ER), thulium (DI), ytterbium (y), lutetium (L), scandium (K à ng), yttrium (Y ǐ).
2. How rare are rare rare earth?
1. Non renewable
Rare earth is a non renewable resource. Under the condition of insufficient exploration, the existing rare earth in the world can be mined for nearly 1000 years, which means that rare earth is not so scarce in the world.
2. Distribution of mineral deposits
Rare earth mineral deposits are mainly concentrated in China, the United States, India, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Egypt and other countries. China is the largest country with the largest reserves of rare earth resources in the world and the only country that can provide all 17 kinds of rare earth metals. The main production areas include Baiyun OBO rare earth mine, Shandong Weishan rare earth mine and Mianning rare earth mine. Baiyun OBO mine is the largest rare earth mine in the world, accounting for more than 90% of the reserves of rare earth resources in China, and is known as the “capital of rare earth”.
3. Mining refining
Although rare earth is not as rare as precious metals such as gold, silver and silver, it is expensive to exploit and extract because rare earth is usually mixed with other minerals. China’s influence on global rare earth is precisely on production.
3. What can rare earth do?
Rare earth elements are known as “vitamins in modern industry”, “industrial gold”, “new materials treasure house”, “omnipotent soil” because of their special atomic structure and abundant electronic energy levels, and many excellent optical, electrical, magnetic and nuclear properties, and chemical properties are very active. They can be composed of various types, functions and uses with other elements ”。
In traditional industries, rare earth has been widely used in metallurgy, machinery, petroleum, chemical industry, glass, ceramics, textile, leather, agriculture and animal husbandry and other traditional industries, which can significantly improve product performance and increase production.
In emerging industries, rare earth, as a matrix element, can produce a variety of functional materials with special “photoelectromagnetic” properties, such as rare earth permanent magnet materials, fluorescent luminescent materials, hydrogen storage materials, catalyst materials, laser materials, superconductors, photoconductive materials, functional ceramics materials, bioengineering materials and semiconductor materials. They are all developing electronic information industry and opening up New energy, environmental protection and national defense advanced technology and other indispensable new materials.
NdFeB, a rare earth permanent magnet material, is the most magnetic material, known as “the first generation magneto king”, and has been widely used in various fields such as motor, generator, audio equipment, instrument, MRI and aerospace communication.
Rare earth is an indispensable material for the manufacture of high efficiency and energy-saving electric light source. The power saving rate of the fluorescent lamp is up to 80% by replacing the ordinary incandescent lamp with the rare earth three basic color fluorescent lamp. Rare earth metal halide lamp has been widely used in the beautification and floodlighting of city square, sports venues and high-rise buildings. These new electric light sources not only have obvious energy saving effect, but also greatly improve the lighting quality, and reduce pollution in the production process, and are regarded as “green lighting”. Color TV is also because of the use of rare earth fluorescent lamp to make its picture color pure, can reproduce the world of five colors and ten colors.
As a green battery without pollution, the rare earth nickel hydrogen can be recharged. It has been widely used in mobile phones, computer notebooks, electric tools and other aspects.
Various rare earth functional materials have been widely used in advanced technologies of aerospace, aviation and national defense, such as radar, reconnaissance satellite, laser guidance and automatic command system.
Is rare earth earth earth? Or is there a difference?
Rare earth is not soil, and “rare” is not a rare meaning. In fact, the content of rare earth elements in the crust is not low, and the abundance of some elements is even higher than that of common metals such as copper and zinc. However, rare earth elements are rarely rich in the deposits that can be mined, so the proper solution is “thin”.
4. What are the advantages of China’s rare earth industry in the world?
First, resources dominate. As of 2018, there are 120 million tons of rare earth reserves in the world, with 44million tons in China, accounting for 38%. Meanwhile, the medium heavy rare earth (represented by dysprosium and Terbium) which plays a more important role in the high precision point manufacturing has its unique advantages. In the late 1960s, a rare ion adsorption rare earth mineral was found in Ganzhou. It has the characteristics of complete distribution, high economic value, easy separation and low radioactivity. The industrial reserves of China are 1.5 million tons, accounting for 36% of them in Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province. The rich yttrium type heavy rare earth mineral resources are more than those in the world Unique.
Secondly, the separation ability of mining and smelting is strong. China has a leading position in rare earth mining, smelting, separation and purification, and has a strong discourse power. In 2018, the global output of rare earth minerals is about 195000 tons, and that of China is about 120000 tons, accounting for 62%; the global production of rare earth smelting and separation is about 146000 tons, of which China has a production of 125000 tons, accounting for 86%. The reporter learned from Ganzhou Bureau of industry and information technology that Ganzhou has been mining and processing ion rare earth for more than 40 years, and has been leading the field of ion rare earth in China. The technological research on rare earth mining, separation and metal smelting in the south is at the international leading level, and the industrial scale accounts for one third of the total amount of the country.
Thirdly, the application chain is continuously extended. With the advantages of resource and smelting separation, the industry chain of rare earth in China is continuously extended. Taking the NdFeB permanent magnet materials, which are widely used in rare earth, for example, the production of NdFeB in China is close to 90% of the world, and the output of high-end NdFeB is close to 60% of the total amount of the world.