27 Jan '12, 5pm

Toyota works on electric-drive powertrains that don't need rare earth metals

Besides driving people to non-rare earth technologies, China will encourage investment elsewhere in rare earth mines. The name rare earth is definitely misleading, they are not rare at all, simply diffuse. The early chemists termed them rare earths because they are not as concentrated and are somewhat difficult to separate. The F orbitals have approximately the same sort of diffuse character thus making separation of one rare earth from another problematic. This is one reason for the fairly high price. However, there are rare earths everywhere. The profitability in recovering them depends on how concentrated the specific metals are in the ore. Obviously as price goes up then what were once uneconomic sources of the metals become economically viable and thus trying to corner the market and drive price up is a fool's plan. You just make it possible for others to have the eco...

Full article: http://green.autoblog.com/2012/01/27/toyota-works-on-elec...

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