Gisele Azimi’s lab has developed a way to extract rare earths from devices. It uses carbon dioxide to dissolve them, while other processes use acids that generate a lot of nasty waste products. However, the process has yet not been scaled up, though she hopes that see that within a decade. In the meantime, it’s much cheaper to continue sourcing rare earths from China.
Find out more about the value of recycling rare-earth elements.