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Uses of Rare Earth Elements If you are considering trading rare earth commodities, it is important that you know the uses of the different metals. According to the IUPAC definition, rare earth elements are a set of 15 chemical elements falling under lanthanides in the periodic table, plus yttrium and scandium. Yttrium and scandium qualify as rare earth metals since they have the same chemical properties as lanthanides and they are extracted from the same elements.

Scandium is used in mercury vapor lamps to make them brighter. It is used in such athletic equipment as aluminum baseball bats, lacrosse sticks, and bicycle frames. It also makes fuel cells. Yttrium is used to produce color in TV picture tubes, to conduct acoustic and microwave energy, to strengthen glass, magnesium alloys, ceramics and aluminum alloys, and to simulate diamond gemstones. Trade in Lanthanum is popular because the metal is used in the manufacture of carbon arc lamps. These lamps are used in the TV and film industry as project and studio lights. The rare metal is also used in the flints of cigarette lighters, in batteries, and in some camera lenses. Trade in Cerium is popular because cerium is the most common of all rare earth elements. It is used in diesel fuels and catalytic converters to reduce the emission of carbon monoxide by vehicles. It is also used in lighter flints, carbon arc lights, self-cleaning ovens, and glass polishers. Praseodymium is mostly used together with magnesium to make a high-strength allow for use in aircraft engines. Other uses are as signal amplifiers, in making fiber-optic cables, and in creating the hard glass used in welding goggles. Neodymium is used in the manufacture of powerful neodymium magnets that are used in computer HDDs, ear bud headphones, in microphones, in wind turbines, and in hybrid cars. Other reasons for the trade in neodymium rare earth commodities are that the metal is also used in the manufacture of lighter flints and welding goggles, and in coloring glass. Promethium is the only rare earth metal that is not naturally-occurring. The metal is produced by the fusion of uranium. It is used to make luminous paint, X-ray devices, and nuclear-powered micro batteries. Samarium’s main use is in the manufacture of the magnet that has the highest known demagnetization resistance (used together with cobalt). Samarium is also used in the construction of ‘smart’ missiles, to make some glasses, in lighter flints and in carbon arc lamps. Europium is very reactive and has few

commercial uses, meaning even trade in europium rare earth commodities is limited. It is used as a red phosphor in computer monitors and TVs, in fluorescent lamps, and in some lasers. Gadolinium is mostly used in nuclear reactors to make control rods and is therefore among the most popular rare earth commodities in countries that have nuclear reactors. The rare earth metal is also used in MRIs. Industrially, it is used to make chromium, iron, and other metals more workable. Terbium is used in solid-state technology such as to make small sensors and advanced sonar systems. It is also used to make temperature-resistant fuel cells and in the production of laser light. Dysprosium, like gadolinium, is used to make control rods. Other uses are laser- and high-intensity light production and to raise the coactivity level in high-power permanent magnets. Trade in holmium rare earth commodities is popular because holmium has high magnetic strength and is therefore used to make industrial magnets. Other uses are the making of control rods in nuclear reactors, the making of solid-state lasers, and the coloring of cubic zirconia and some glasses. Erbium is used in photographic filters and as a doping agent (in signal amplification) in fiber optic cables. Other uses are as control rods in nuclear reactors, to make metal alloys, and the coloring of specialized glass, cheap jewelry, and the porcelain used in sunglasses. Thulium is the rarest of the rare earth elements and therefore has few commercial uses, meaning even trade in thulium rare earth commodities is limited. It is, however, used in X-ray technology and to make surgical lasers. Ytterbium, too, has few commercial applications and trade in ytterbium rare earth commodities is limited. The few specialized applications are in X-ray technology, in making earthquake stress gauges, as fiber optic cable doping agents, and in making some lasers. Lutetium has specialty uses, among them the calculation of meteorite age, in PET (positron emission tomography) scans, as a catalyst in the petroleum ‘cracking’ process.

At London Commodity Markets, our goal is to isolate and identify opportunities that provide a unique chance for investors to take advantage of the rare earth elements and alternative investments market. Our company ethos is one where each package is tailored to the parameters given to us by our clients. Our representatives will focus their research and advice on identifying the ideal market in which to achieve optimum returns on the investment, given the expectations of the client. At London Commodity Markets we hand-pick a select portfolio of exceptional investment opportunities each year following in-depth research and analysis by our team of professionals and our extended network of experts in the relevant rare earth elements and alternative investments market. All our clients have peace of mind knowing they are being given sound advice by market professionals they can trust to achieve maximum and safe returns on the investment.

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