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Handbook of Recycling by Markus Reuter, Ernst Worrell

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Chapter 4

Recycling Rare Metals

Robert U. Ayres1Gara Villalba Méndez3 and Laura Talens Peiró2     1INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France     2Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, Ispra, Italy     3Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Abstract

The industrial system now utilizes many more elements, especially rare metals, than was the case even a half century ago. Most are not mined for themselves but are obtained as by-products or “hitchhikers” of the more familiar industrial metals, such as iron, aluminum, copper, nickel, and zinc. This imposes a limit on the production of by-product metals. But in some cases, demand may increase much faster than new supply. This suggests a need for recycling. But the uses of these metals are often ...

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