Sunday 23 November, 2014

Sea deposits to build your smart phone!

Published On: Thu, Apr 17th, 2014 | Hi-Tech Innovation | By BioNews

Did you ever think the smart phone you are holding in your hands is made of some rare, scarce earth metals which may not be in abundant supply soon?
Pause for a moment.

A thrilling research says that there is an untapped source of those rare earth elements under the sea.

The deep-sea sources are clusters of iron and manganese that are abundant on the ocean floor.

Called ferromanganese deposits, these include rare earth metals like yttrium, praseodymium or dysprosium that are used to produce screen, circuits and speakers etc. for your smart phone.

Now, geochemists at Jacobs University in Germany have developed a method to efficiently extract rare earth metals from ferromanganese nodules from the ocean floor.

By refining their ore-leaching method, the team was able to extract up to 80 percent of four rare earth metals from some ferromanganese nodules.

Rare earth metals are a group of 17 naturally occurring elements on the periodic table with similar chemical properties

As demand increases, these deep-sea rocks could become components in future solar panels, wind turbines and smart phones, researchers added.

The study was published in the journal Applied Geochemistry.

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