Infographic: Rare Earth Elements and Sustainable Technology

Rare earth elements consist of a group of seventeen chemical elements grouped together on the periodic table. Since 1950 demand for these elements has exploded as a key component of the technology the drives our modern society. From cell phones, TV and computer displays, and fuel cells to critical defense applications, these elements make our contemporary life possible.

While not necessarily “rare” increasing demand on rare earths is putting pressure on supply. Most rare earths now come from China and, as the infographic below explains, the supply of rare earth elements in China is quickly dwindling. This increasing scarcity is becoming an obstacle to the development of green and sustainable technology.  In the coming years and decades, the world faces the challenge of scaling up production of rare earth elements to meet demand. Find out more below:
Sustainable Technology v2

Infographic provided courtesy of  the VoucherCloud blog

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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