It’s time to scrape that salmon semen off your plate, because it’s got a much better use than tickling your taste buds (yes, fish sperm is actually a delicacy in Japan). This unusual magical ingredient could help us extract and recycle rare earth elements from ore and a variety of other materials, such as magnets or old electronics. Not only would this process be significantly cheaper than traditional chemical extraction methods, but it’s also much better for the environment.
Mines use billions of litres of water each year but with one billion people without clean drinking water and 2.5 billion lacking access to basic sanitation worldwide, doesn’t it seem preposterous to pour clean water down a mine?
Sending undrinkable domestic waste water and sea water to mine sites is a promising solution.
Explorers are scouring the lands, racing to find new deposits of precious rare earth elements. But new supplies of these vital green technology metals might be found in less traditional mining locations, like deep below the sea and even out in space.
Putting the REE in gREEn technologies
Current supplies are barely enough to satisfy our insatiable thirst for rare earths (REE), a group of essential elements used in high-tech gadgets and sustainable green technologies. (more…)