If necessity is the mother of invention, maybe China is the wicked stepmother. In an effort to thwart Chinese restrictions on rare-earth metal exports, Japanese manufacturers have developed technology that can make motors without them.
Hitachi has come up with a motor that uses a ferrite magnet, made of ferric oxide. The material is the main source of iron for the steel industry, and it's cheaper and more common than the rare-earth metals typically used to make electric car motors.
Quoting the Nikkei business daily, business blogs are reporting today that Hitachi hopes to use the motors for hybrid car manufacturing. It's not yet big enough for a car motor, but Hitachi will also use them in air conditioners, Tech Eye reports.
What's more, the chemical firm Teijin and Tohoku University have developed technology to make a powerful magnet using a new composite made of iron and nitrogen, Forbes.com reports.
Japan and China are the world's biggest users of rare-earth metals, which are used to produce small batteries for hybrid cars and handheld gadgets. The metals, 17 in all, are also used to make lasers, magnets, camera lenses, computer memory chips and more.
China produces about 90 percent of the world's rare-earths, and announced in July that it would slash exports by 40 percent. As Forbes.com reports, China said the move was meant to protect the environment; others claim restricting supplies could give Chinese manufacturers an edge.
Rare-earths are also used in weapons systems, so China's rare-earth wealth has sparked a flurry of U.S. government reports on how to obtain a home-grown supply. Until mining firms ramp up production, innovation seems like a smart solution.
"China said the move was meant to protect the environment." Ha ha ha ha HA HA HA HAAAAAA! Stop it! I'm weeping with laughter! Ha ha HAAAAAAAA! Thank you Pop Sci. You made my day.
Great the newer designs of efficient motors/generators have yet to hit the mass market space, and now they never will !!
Japan, the free world thanks you!
Afghanistan has a lot of rare earth minerals. Is anyone looking there for a new supply?
Of course people are looking there. I knew about the resources years ago from my EnvSci courses (far sooner then the 'report' that PopSci wrote about several months ago). If I knew about it then, I'm sure the government scientists knew about it far before.
As insensitive as it seems to be posting this on the anniversary of the terror attacks, I truly beleive the USA let them happen in order to gain some sort of 'right' to these minerals (just like the oil in Iraq).
Wars are no longer over land, it's all about the minerals under that land. This war over minerals won't be as clear as simply walking into a country and stealing all of thier resources. It will (and is) be fought through clever manipulations such as false flag operations and hoarding policies.
terterter, you can take your tinfoil hat off now and come join the rest of us in reality. Its warm...
The lithium deposits reported by the military in Afghanistan several years ago were deposits of lithium bearing minerals which are hard and expensive to process. The reports a few months ago was not regarding those minerals rather salt flats that are saturated with lithium similar to Chile, Argentina and Bolivia. These types of deposits are relatively easy and cheap to process.
Okay so my big question is whether the Iron nitrogen magnets mentioned are the same ones reported a little while back that go beyond the theoretical limits of magnetism. I also wonder if Forbes got confused and assumed from the old article that these were going to actually be made because the last I heard was that the iron nitride compound could not be made pure in large enough amounts to make sizeable magnets. Any thoughs or more detailed links specifically on that topic.
tertertert is right, were fighting for resources. You think its just coincidence that they just happen to have a lot of oil too. Thats why we gave weapons to them to fight off the soviets, so we could sit on top of that oil. Now we're fighting with the same insurgents, with most of the weapons we gave them, ha the irony. And to think that the government wouldn't lie or deceive you, is just ignorant.
Afghanistan doesnt have any real volume of oil. That statement was just plain wrong. The reason we are over there is because islam has been perverted and now its threatening all the progress made by man in the last 1000 years. The US and other countries are moving away from oil. Always with you lefty conspirators its oil. If we were really into "taking other peoples resources" why didn't we just go where it is and invade russia or saudi arabia? Next time think your "theories" through