The majority of the rare earth components are found in gathering 3 of the occasional table: they incorporate the components Scandium; Yttrium; Lanthanum; Cerium; Praseodymium; Neodymium; Promethium; Samarium; Europium; Gadolinium; Terbium; Dysprosium; Holmium; Erbium; Thulium; Ytterbium; Lutetium.
While Cerium wasn’t linked to magnetism earlier, this rare earth element does have an influence on the permanent magnet industry. It is said that it is higher than the influence of neodymium, dysprosium, samarium, or even terbium, which are used in rare earth magnets. This is because of a concept that we can call balancing. In other words, to reduce processing costs, miners should be able to sell rare-earth that they mine. However, it is not possible always due to variations in demand and supply. Though interlinked, they’re independent factors and rarely meet!
However, the importance of demand-supply balance shouldn’t and cannot be ignored if the efforts should yield profits. Nowadays, dysprosium and neodymium business thrives something that’s not usual for the rare earth industry. Originally, lanthanum and cerium were considered important rare earth elements. However, mining to get neodymium for the magnet market, results in huge amounts of lanthanum and cerium. This is now piling up and creating an imbalance in supply-demand.
Generally, there are two ways to restore balance. One is by creating demand by coming up with newer applications and the other is reducing the price. As for the reduction in pricing, the market always responds overwhelmingly well. Over the last fifty years, rare earth mining has moved to China. Even so, the growth and scope of rare earth elements were due to their applications. With an excess pile of Cerium accumulating, it is highly important to come up with new and innovative applications for this rare earth element.
Recent attempts often mimicked rehash of older ideas and new uses are not yet identified. It is important to come up with many uses for Cerium, closely followed by lanthanum, to get rare earth elements market back on track.