Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5094

Rare Earth Elements—End Use and Recyclability

By Thomas G. Goonan

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (3.71 MB)

Abstract

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

For additional information contact:
Thomas G. Goonan
U.S. Geological Survey
Box 25046
Denver Federal Center
Denver, CO 80225–0046
Telephone: (303) 236–5209
Fax: (303) 236–4208

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.


Suggested citation:

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/.



Contents

Abstract

Introduction

End Uses for Rare Earth Elements

Mature Market Sectors

Catalysts

Glass

Metallurgy (Excluding Battery Alloy)

Phosphors

Developing Market Sectors

Ceramics

Neodymium-Iron-Boron Magnets

Battery Alloys

Other (Unspecified)

Summary

References Cited


Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2011/5094/
Page Contact Information: GS Pubs Web Contact
Page Last Modified: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 08:08:05 PM