Xin Song 1, Moon-Hwan Chang 2, MichaelPecht 2,3
1 Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, People’s Republic of China
2 Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
3 e-mail: email@example.com
Rare-earth elements (REEs) are used in lighting and optical applications to enable color and light adjustment, miniaturization, and energy efficiency. Common applications of REEs include phosphors for light-emitting diodes, lasers, and electronic video displays. This article reviews how REEs are widely used in these applications. However, supply constraints, including rising prices, environmental concerns over mining and refining processes, and China’s control over the supply of the vast majority of REEs, are of concern for manufacturers. In view of these supply constraints, this article discusses ways for manufacturers of lighting and optical devices to identify potential substitutes and recycling methods for REEs.
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