Earlier today I got word that the US Department of Energy (DOE) has released an update to its Critical Materials Strategy, which was first published as a report in December
2011 2010. This document has helped to shape a fair amount of the debate on rare earths in particular, and critical & strategic materials in general, in the past 12 months.
You can download a copy of the report from here.
I’m still digesting the contents of the report; I can tell you that the DOE still considers the five rare earths dysprosium, neodymium, terbium, europium and yttrium to be critical in the short and medium term; indium is judged to now be near-critical in the near term, compared to being categorized as critical in the 2010 report.
New sections include one that covers the use of rare earths in fluid cracking catalysts, and how the petrochemical refining industry reacted to escalating prices of materials in 2011.
More to follow once we’ve had a chance to read through the report more thoroughly.
Update (01/17/12): the URLs for the report have been updated, since the original links no longer work.