The success from catalysts depends on its structure and
composition. Tremendous research has been devoted in
fine-tuning the melding of structure and raw material makeup to
provide efficient catalyst systems for the hydrocarbon processing system. Some very
effective catalysts include rare earth (RE) elements to
facilitate desired processing reactions. RE elements are very
difficult to mine. As indicated by rare in its
names, RE elements are under stress as more products and
applications utilize these materials. In addition to catalysts,
RE elements are used in camera lenses, jet engines, nuclear
batteries, lasers, vanadium steel, high-temperature
superconductors and other hi-tech products. Newer applications
include wind turbines and hybrid and electric car batteries.
Demand for greener products, energy and vehicles
continues to raise demand for RE element metals.