Rare Earth Elements Infographics
Rare earth elements are a group of metals of great economic and technological significance. They possess a great number of irreplaceable properties and play a key role especially with regard to renewable energy sources. Due to a rising demand, future supplies might be in danger. Even though there are a lot of places in the world possessing resources, more than 90% of the produced rare earth elements come from China. Mining and production are very harmful to the environment and create in the majority of cases a lot of radioactive and toxic waste. Despite the great value and the problematic production, only around 1% of all rare earth elements are recycled. The intention of the project was to create a series of infographic posters to give an overview about the topic, to explain the significance of rare earth elements and to call attention to one’s own recycling behavior.
My bachelor thesis at the FH Aachen, University of Applied Sciences.
Mentoring by Prof. Dipl.-Des. Eva Vitting
Why are rare earth elements indispensable for us?
Visualization of the use of each rare earth element and the importance for green energy/products.
How the world got dependent on China
History, production rate, demand, export and price development of rare earth elements by country.
The race for rare earth elements
Global reserves and producers and a selection of important mining projects.
The dark side of rare earth elements
Visualization of the most important types of production/mining processes and their environmental problems/risks.
The unused recycling potential
The graphic shows how the recycling potential is wasted and how it could be improved.