Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5094
Rare earth elements are used in mature markets (such as catalysts, glassmaking, lighting, and metallurgy), which account for 59 percent of the total worldwide consumption of rare earth elements, and in newer, high-growth markets (such as battery alloys, ceramics, and permanent magnets), which account for 41 percent of the total worldwide consumption of rare earth elements. In mature market segments, lanthanum and cerium constitute about 80 percent of rare earth elements used, and in new market segments, dysprosium, neodymium, and praseodymium account for about 85 percent of rare earth elements used. Regardless of the end use, rare earth elements are not recycled in large quantities, but could be if recycling became mandated or very high prices of rare earth elements made recycling feasible.
Posted July 2011
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Goonan, T.G., 2011, Rare earth elements—End use and recyclability: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011-5094, 15 p., available only at http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2011/5094/.
End Uses for Rare Earth Elements
Mature Market Sectors
Metallurgy (Excluding Battery Alloy)
Developing Market Sectors