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Old 12-18-2009, 10:05 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: The Next Rare Earth Crisis

Quote:
Originally Posted by osmium View Post
Thanks everyone--I know this was a snoozer unless you *really* want to know about big batteries. Natural selection and the big bang are much more interesting, but this is rubber meeting the road kind of science.

Baltimoron, I don't use any rare earths, but other odd elements do come up in my work. I used to use osmium (obvs) which is a tightly regulated "middle of the periodic table" element, although not technically a rare earth. These materials are useful, so the way I see, the mining and recycling operations have to be made cleaner over time. And once we can "tag" everything made, it'll be easier to recycle things like rare earth elements with no hassle to the general public.
This was really informative and just plain cool. I wonder about simply using gravity to for energy storage. Something like 10,000 or 100,000 gallon water tanks on stilts in a closed loop with a second tank on the ground. Use pumps to lift the water, and drive a turbine or something on the way down. Too inefficient?
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