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On the Future Availability of the Energy Metals

TitleOn the Future Availability of the Energy Metals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsGraedel TE
Journal TitleAnnual Review of Materials Research
AbstractThe routine availability of metals, long assumed by materials scientists to be unworthy of concern, is now a topic of wide interest but one with little clear guidance. This review discusses availability issues from the perspective of the metals utilized in the energy industry. Although the availability of metals is a dynamic characteristic, availability of the widely used base metals appears assured in the immediate future. The same cannot be said for by-product (daughter) metals, which are increasingly vital for many carbon-free energy technologies but are produced only if recovered as part of parent metal processing. Additionally, the direct substitution of one metal for another in short supply is often difficult because the best substitutes tend to have the same availability constraints as did the original metal. Gallium, indium, and neodymium are singled out as elements of particular concern from a long-term-supply standpoint.
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