Uses of Rare Earths

Chatham Rise rock phosphate includes 15 of the 17 recognised rare earth elements, excluding only scandium and promethium. The uses and applications of these rare earths are listed in the table below.

Rare Earth Application
Neodymium Powerful magnets used in loudspeakers, computer hard drives, wind turbines, electric vehicles, used in lasers
Lanthanum Camera and telescope lenses, carbon lighting applications, studio lighting and cinema projection Used in the process of refining crude oil.Used in specialty glasses and optics, electrodes and for hydrogen storage.
Cerium Catalytic converters in cars Makes an excellent oxidizer, used in oil cracking during petroleum refining and is used for yellow color in ceramics and glass.
Praseodymium Used to create strong metals used in aircraft engines
Used to make a special type of glass used in visors to protect welders and glassmakers

Used in magnets, lasers and as green color in ceramics and glass.
Gadolinium Used in X-ray and MRI scanning systems, and also in television screens
Used in magnets, speciality optics, and computer memory.
Yttrium Televisions, computer screens and other devices that have visual displays
Used in superconductors and exotic light sources.
Terbium Used as green in ceramics and paints, and in lasers and fluorescent lamps.
Europium Europium is used in making control rods in nuclear reactors
Makes colored phosphors, lasers, and mercury-vapor lamps.
Samarium: Used in magnets, lasers and for neutron capture.
Dysprosium: Used in magnets and lasers.
Holmium: Used in lasers.
Erbium Used in steel alloyed with vanadium, as well as in lasers.
Thulium Used in portable x-ray equipment.
Ytterbium Used in infrared lasers. Also, works as a great chemical reducer.
Lutetium Used in specialty glass and radiology equipment.

Summary Table of Rare Earths and Other Minerals

(includes only those with significant indicative values)

Location
Element Seafloor Muds Rock  Phosphate
Cerium Ce x
Cesium Cs x
Chlorine Cl x
Chromium Cr x x
Cobalt Co x x
Elemental Fluorine F x
Gallium Ga x
Germanium Ge x
Hafnium (with 2% Zircon) Hf x
Iodine I x
Lanthanum La x x
Neodymium Nd
Nickel Ni x x
Niobium Nb x
Praseodymium Pr x
Rubidium Rb x
Strontium Sr x x
Thallium Tl x
Thorium Th x
Tungsten WO3 x
Uranium U3O8 x x
Vanadium V2O5 x x
Yttrium Y x x
Iron Fe x
Silicon Si x
Aluminium Al x
Magnesium Mg x
Titanium Ti x
Samarium Sm x
Europium Eu x
Gadolinium Gd x
Terbium Tb x
Dysprosium Dy x
Holmium Ho x
Erbium Er x
Thulium Tm x
Ytterbium Yb x
Lutetium Lu x
Zirconium Zr x x

USGS article: Marine Phosphorites as Potential Resources for Heavy Rare Earth Elements and Yttrium

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