As we all know, manufacturing electronic products requires large amounts of rare-earth elements (REEs). Mining for REEs, however, is both costly and harmful to the environment. Researchers from Rice University may have solved this problem by developing a method that extracts REEs from existing industrial waste.

According to the scientists, a rapid heating technique called flash Joule heating (FJH) can extract REEs from both industrial and electronic waste. The technique provides a far more sustainable alternative to existing extraction methods, and it could even be a key step toward the goal of a circular economy. 

Learn more about FJH here.