Rare earth elements have unusual magnetic, luminescent, and electrical properties that make them valuable for industrial applications and in manufactured products. Purdue University is dedicated to making these elements easier to obtain and more widely available.
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Rare earths are 17 chemical elements with special magnetic properties. They are pervasive across modern life and are particularly coveted for their ability to produce the world's strongest and most efficient magnets. These magnets are what enable electric motors transform energy into motion, and generators to transform motion into energy. Demand for magnets in electric vehicles, drones, robots, wind turbines, cell phones and defense technologies is growing rapidly. Asia dominates production, supplying more than 90% of the world's refined rare earths and permanent magnets. This geographic concentration of production is creating pressure on the part of Western manufacturers and governments to diversify their supply chains.