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Europe in race to secure raw materials critical for energy transition

Article from March 8 at Euronews.

"Critical raw materials including lithium and rare earths are likely to soon be more important than oil and gas, as Europe aims for a zero-carbon future."

There are 17 rare earth elements that have hundreds of uses from missile guidance systems to banknotes, although the main use is for making ultra-powerful magnets. For example neodymium and praseodymium that are used to make permanent magnets and in the drive train motors of electric vehicles, saving in some cases over 20% of the battery size needed.

At the moment Europe is dependent on a small number of third countries. 78% of the EU's supply of lithium comes from Chile, while 98% of rare earth elements come from China, 85% of niobium fro Brasil and 71% of platinum from South Africa provides.

Last March 16, the European Commission annouced the Critical Raw Materials Act (CRM) among other key publications. This act will set the basis for a renewed European approach to the use of raw materials and the revival of Europe’s sustainable materials market, focusing on the extraction, processing, recycling, monitoring and diversification of critical ores, minerals and concentrates, while strengthening its international outreach to current and future partners. Electrolysers and fuel cells are dependent on CRMs, thus their availability and future prices will evidently affect the speed of market growth.

Click at the image below for this Euronews article and here for the Factsheet on the European Critical Raw Materials Act.


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“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

“I am among those who think that science has great beauty”

Madame Marie Curie (1867 - 1934) Chemist & physicist. French, born Polish.

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