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What is the Rarest Material in the World?

Of all the world's natural resources, which one will be the first to "dry up"? The more resources the society consumes, the more information about important minerals and minerals will be reduced. In this case, it seems there is every reason to think that some resources may be drying up.

However, this is not the way to look at it at all. Natural resources experts say many of the materials used in modern life are not "dry up" at all. Unfortunately, the short-term picture they paint is not optimistic.

Our most essential devices, such as smartphones, computers, and medical devices, depending on a variety of basic ingredients. There are 60 to 64 elements in a cell phone alone. A lot of metals are used very little, maybe one milligram or less, but it's important for the function of the device. The elements include copper, aluminum, and iron, but there are less common materials, such as rare earth elements, which are called "the seeds of technology" by the Japanese.

rare-earth metal

Both tablets and smartphones rely on a material called rare-earth metal, which is closely watched because they are key ingredients for smartphones, hybrid cars, wind turbines, computers and other materials. China produces 90% of the world's rare earth metals, and the country says its rare earth resources will dry up in 15 to 20 years. Similarly, it is thought that if demand continues to increase, indium resources will dry up in about 10 years, and platinum will take only 15 years and silver for 20 years.

Other studies have shown that rhodium, gold, platinum, and tellurium are the rarest elements in terms of the proportion of the earth's crust and the importance of human society.

“While these figures are shocking, in fact, silver, platinum, aluminum or any other mineral resource can't really dry up.” Thomas Graedel said, the director of the Centre for industrial ecology at the Yale University of forestry and environmental studies, “We have never completely consumed any natural resources, and certainly not in the future.”

In fact, it is impossible to know exactly what kind of resources are the scarcest in the world. When considering scarcity, it should not be standard for the reserves of X or Y minerals on the earth but should consider the difficulty of the exploitation of such resources and the market demand. Therefore, the key to scarcity is availability rather than physical reserves, and this availability is influenced by many factors.

Keywords: rare-earth metal,rhodium,platinum,tellurium


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