PerspectiveCHEMICAL ENGINEERING

Separating Rare Earth Elements

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Science  29 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5488, pp. 2295-2296
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5488.2295

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Summary

Rare earth elements find a wide range of applications in metallurgy, fuel cells, the coloring of glass and ceramics, and the production of magnets, but their separation is difficult, leading to high prices. In his Perspective, Fray discusses the separation process reported by Uda et al. , which greatly reduces the number of separation steps required. If this process is adopted commercially, the price of rare earth elements may be reduced substantially.