Article

The Canadian city betting on recycling rare earths for the energy transition

Sourcing critical minerals in a way that avoids exacerbating environmental destruction and social inequalities is one of the biggest challenges of the energy transition – but it is also an opportunity.
Sustainable supply chains can create good jobs and thriving economies. That’s why one city in Canada is trying to get ahead.
Kingston, in Ontario, has become a burgeoning hub for cleantech startups working to process and recycle energy transition minerals to create circular supply chains.
Halfway between Ottawa and Toronto - and a stone’s throw away from North America’s auto manufacturing hub - Kingston is hoping to make its mark by addressing the supply chain challenges of one type of critical minerals in particular: rare earths.
There are 17 rare earth elements. And while dysprosium, neodymium and terbium may not be household names, rare earths are essential for virtually all clean technologies, including building the magnets used in EV motors.
The International Energy Agency estimates the world will need seven times more rare earths by 2040 than it does today. But here’s the thing: China currently dominates rare earth mining and processing. As Western nations actively seek to reduce their dependence on Beijing, chemists are working to provide a solution.


  • johnte ndeto

    5 w

    This is a promising example of how innovation and environmental stewardship can go hand in hand.

    7
    • Boniface Kuria

      5 w

      Recycling instead of mining new minerals. I support fully.

      7
      • Sarah Chabane

        6 w

        That's how we should be thinking about the green transition, with a circular perspective

        9
        • George Kariuki

          6 w

          This is exactly the kind of innovation we need for the energy transition!

          1
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