American Chemistry Council Group to Support $5 Billion Sector
The American Chemistry Council is hosting RETA – the Rare Earth Technology Alliance – as a new education and outreach organization “to encourage the development of a healthy and competitive global market for rare earth elements.”
ACC pegs the value of the global rare earth sector at more than $5 billion, with 120,000 to 130,000 tons of rare earth elements produced per year. Most come from China.
Rare earth materials, sometimes referred to as lanthanides (F&F, April 26, 2010), are a key “ingredient” in efficient permanent magnet motors. They “are vital to the operation of an amazing array of modern technologies,” ACC says, naming consumer electronics, computing and networking, clean energy, advanced transportation, energy efficient lighting, health care, environmental mitigation, and national defense.
“Many advanced energy technologies such as the new generation of wind powered turbines and plug-in hybrid vehicles rely on rare earth elements,” ACC says. “In oil refining, they are used as a catalyst.”
‘The Creation of New Supply Chains’
“The new organization will be the leading voice for the rare earth industry and a central resource for information about this vital sector.”
Arnold Magnetic Technologies, Avalon Rare Metals, Boulder Wind Power, the Colorado School of Mines, General Electric, Global Tungsten & Powders, Great Western Minerals, Iowa State University, Molycorp, Montana Tech, Quest Rare Minerals, Rare Element Resources, and, Solvay (Rhodia) are RETA members. RETA, ACC says, “is only rare earth association whose mission is to provide all stakeholders –the media, policymakers, regulators, manufacturers and users of rare earth technologies – with comprehensive, science-based information about rare earths and their associated technologies.”
From the ACC announcement:
- “The Rare Earth Technology Alliance is a broad-based effort that brings together producers, consumers, and those operating on the cutting edge of rare earth research and development,” said Mark Smith, president and CEO of Molycorp, Inc., and a member of the RETA Management Committee. “Given the wide range of advanced technologies across our economy that rare earths make possible, it is important to have an organization like RETA that can provide solid, science-based information on these critical materials and how vital they are to global economic growth.”
- “Rare earth materials are key to several advanced technologies for the energy, lighting, health care, and transportation sectors. RETA helps GE understand the rare earth market, make connections with all levels of the supply chain, and helps educate our customers on rare earth technologies and issues,” said Steven Duclos, leader of the Materials Advanced Technologies Program at GE Global Research.
- “The rare earth industry will be facing many interesting challenges over the next few years including growth of the markets, the creation of new supply chains, and the need for universities to develop technical and business leaders. RETA will help the industry meet its goals by achieving results that individual companies would have more difficulty achieving on their own,” said Pierre Neatby, vice president of sales and marketing at Avalon Rare Metals Inc.
- “Rare-earth-enabled products and technologies help to provide advancements in clean energy, fuel economic growth, maintain high standards of living, and save lives. Students are highly motivated to work in these areas and it is vital that education programs are developed that meet the needs of the industry to capitalize on this high level of interest. RETA provides an excellent forum for matching university programs with industry needs,” said Alex King, professor of materials science & engineering at Iowa State University.
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