Global demand for rare earth resources and strategies for green mining

Tanushree Dutta, Ki Hyun Kim, Minori Uchimiya, Eilhann E. Kwon, Byong Hun Jeon, Akash Deep, Seong Taek Yun

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

402 Citations (Scopus)


Rare earth elements (REEs) are essential raw materials for emerging renewable energy resources and 'smart' electronic devices. Global REE demand is slated to grow at an annual rate of 5% by 2020. This high growth rate will require a steady supply base of REEs in the long run. At present, China is responsible for 85% of global rare earth oxide (REO) production. To overcome this monopolistic supply situation, new strategies and investments are necessary to satisfy domestic supply demands. Concurrently, environmental, economic, and social problems arising from REE mining must be addressed. There is an urgent need to develop efficient REE recycling techniques from end-of-life products, technologies to minimize the amount of REEs required per unit device, and methods to recover them from fly ash or fossil fuel-burning wastes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-190
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Research
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( MEST ) (No. 2009-0093848 ). E Kwon also acknowledges the support made by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government ( MSIP ) (No. 2914RA1A004893 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.


  • Ion-adsorption
  • Preservation
  • Rare earth ore deposits
  • Recycling
  • Urban mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • General Environmental Science


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