Rare Earth Elements (REE) are elements with separate numbers in the periodic system; no. 57-71 + no. 21 and 39.
There are in total 17 types of REE, each with separate features. REE is more and more commonly used in modern products which were non-excisting some years ago. Typical products are electic- and hybride cars, electric bicycles, wind mills, smarp phones, computer screens, hard drives for computers, I-pad/i-pods, military devices , newclear power plants. Many of these products would simply would not work without REE. For example, in a hybride car, there are > 50 permanet magnets comsuming more than 25 kilogram of REE. In a modern wind mill, there is up to 2 tons of REE making it work in almost all weather conditions with a minimum og maintenance. World production of REE os approx 125 000 tons with China as the dominant player with a market share of > 95%.
Other market areas with strong growth are the hybride- and electric car markets. One car needs up to 25 kilos of REE supporting electric engines, catalysts, batteries, engine management systems etc.
Japanese car makers have developed the hybride technology since 1995 but European car makers are now to launch similar concepts