(PRWEB) June 19, 2014
Rare earth metals, or rare earth elements (REEs), are a relatively abundant group of seventeen elements found in the periodic table. The rare earth elements can further be divided into two categories—heavy rare earth elements (HREEs) and light rare earth elements (LREEs). LREEs comprise the first six elements from atomic number 57 to 62, namely lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, and samarium.
Browse through the market data tables, figures and detailed ToC on the “Light Rare Earth Metals Market”.
Cerium and Lanthanum Market
Highly effective metals of catalyst systems are cerium and lanthanum. They have properties of absorbing, storing, and releasing oxygen, and also stabilizing the environments in which they are operated. Lanthanum and cerium are used as autocats. These elements are used in manufacturing of catalytic converters which convert the pollutants in engine exhaust to non-toxic compounds. Cerium oxide and lanthanum oxide are majorly used in catalysts, and account for 96.6% in 2013.
The metal Europium is typically prepared by calciothermic reduction of transparent violet-colored crystals of neodymium fluoride, and is known for its magnetic, electrical, chemical, and optical properties. It is known for its use in phosphors in television sets and fluorescent lamps. It is also used as a tag on currencies to prevent forgery. Europium borate (EuBr6) is also used in nuclear fission to absorb neutrons and control the fission process. It is mainly used in optical industries. The demand for europium oxide was the highest in Asia-Pacific in 2013, with almost 81.8% of the region’s demand; this region is expected to grow at 12.9%. The second-highest demand was experienced in North America.
Gadolinium oxide is a rare earth metal used for specialized purposes. It serves as a component in the very critical defence sector. The demand for gadolinium oxide is the highest in permanent magnets with 69% of the share, followed by phosphors with 20% of the demand in 2012. Asia-Pacific is the leading dominant region followed by North America.
Neodymium is an important component used in a wide range of applications due to its excellent optical, magnetic, electrical, and chemical properties. It is used in high strength permanent magnets, which are also known as neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets, one of the strongest magnets in the world. Neodymium oxide is a critical rare earth metal when it comes to green technologies. It captured a share of 7.7% among rare earth metals in 2013. The demand for neodymium oxide was the most in permanent magnets with 77.7% of the share in 2013, with revenue of $1.29 billion. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.5% over the next five years. Asia-Pacific captured the market due to the presence of industries conducive to the use of neodymium such as wind turbines and automobiles.
Praseodymium oxide is widely used as a catalyst in making plastic and polyethylene products such as soda bottles, bubble wraps, milk cartons, and other such applications. Praseodymium is used to provide optimal performance to an automobile fuel catalyst and also to reduce emissions from the automobile. Glass polishing comes a distant second with an estimated 7.39% of the share, with revenue of $72 million in 2013, expected to grow at a CAGR of 7% over the next five years. A severe downfall is observed in the praseodymium oxide market in 2012 and 2013 as compared to 2011.
Samarium oxide functions as a key component in applications such as permanent magnets and battery alloys, which are ultimately used in several critical industries such as green technologies and hybrid automobiles. Even though they are not as strong as neodymium-based magnets, samarium-based magnets have higher resistance to demagnetization. The biggest application of samarium oxide is battery alloys, and its demand was estimated at $26 million in 2012, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% during 2013 to 2018. Asia-Pacific was projected to capture the biggest market due to the increase in effort to set up or proliferate industries wherein samarium oxide acts as a raw material, such as consumer electronics, automobiles, and green technology.
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