Apple’s rare earth recycling steps up environmental response

Apple said Tuesday its newest iPhones would be produced using recycled rare earth materials, as part of a stepped up environmental initiative which also has geopolitical implications.

Announced as part of a series of sustainability actions, Apple said the move builds on prior initiatives including its pledge to become “100 percent carbon neutral” in all aspects of its business.

Apple’s environment policy chief Lisa Jackson said during an online event announcing the new iPhone 12 handsets that “for the first time, we are using 100 percent recycled rare earth elements in all magnets including the camera, haptics and MagSafe (connectors).”

The announcement comes amid growing concerns about e-waste from billions of smartphones as consumers upgrade to new models, and with growing political tensions over rare earth materials needed for many electronics.

Activists have expressed concerns about the environmental impact of rare earth mining, and some of the materials come from

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Rare Peacock Stars Could Potentially Detonate Deadly Gamma Rays In The Milky Way [Video]

KEY POINTS

  • Gamma-ray bursts are one of the most energetic occurrences in the universe
  • Apep’s two stars are 10 to 15 times more massive and 100,000 times brighter than the Sun
  • The two stars also orbit each other about every 125 years

Apep, one of the Wolf-Rayets binary star systems dubbed as the “exotic peacocks of the stellar world” discovered in 2018, was found to have the capacity to detonate long gamma ray bursts that are potentially deadly. If it detonates, the explosion could be something never seen in the Milky Way before, according to scientists.

“As well as exhibiting all the usual extreme behavior of Wolf-Rayets, Apep’s main star looks to be rapidly rotating. This means it could have all the ingredients to detonate a long gamma-ray burst when it goes supernova,” Peter Tuthill, study lead and professor from the University of Sydney, said in a press release. 

In

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Extremely rare wildcat resembling a leopard seen on Texas trail camera. What is it?

A large wildcat resembling a leopard was recently photographed by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trail camera in Texas.

The nighttime image was shared Saturday on Facebook, showing the “majestic feline” as it was creeping into a highway underpass, used by wildlife to avoid traffic.

Though the spotted wildcat looks alarmingly like a leopard — particularly in black and white — experts have identified it as an ocelot, a native species of wild feline that grows to 4 feet in length and 35 pounds. (Leopards grow to more than 6 feet and 130 pounds, LiveScience.com reports.)

To say the species is rare in the U.S. is an understatement.

“There are an estimated 50 ocelots that remain in the United States,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials say. “Known as the ‘little leopard,’ ocelots are larger than a house cat but smaller than a bobcat.”

The ocelot in the photo

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Trail camera captures images of rare wildcat in Texas

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This endangered and elusive wildcat was recently spotted using a wildlife underpass in Texas. It’s an ocelot and there are fewer than 50 living in the wild in the nation.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo

A large wildcat resembling a leopard was recently photographed by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service trail camera in Texas.

The nighttime image was shared Saturday on Facebook, showing the “majestic feline” as it was creeping into a highway underpass, used by wildlife to avoid traffic.

Though the spotted wildcat looks alarmingly like a leopard — particularly in black and white — experts have identified it as an ocelot, a native species of wild feline that grows to 4 feet in length and 35 pounds. (Leopards grow to more than 6 feet and 130 pounds, LiveScience.com reports.)

To say the species is rare in the U.S. is an understatement.

“There are an estimated 50

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Geologists solve puzzle that could predict valuable rare earth element deposits

Geologists solve puzzle that could predict valuable rare earth element deposits
Pioneering new research has helped geologists solve a long-standing puzzle that could help pinpoint new, untapped concentrations of some the most valuable rare earth deposits. Credit: Michael Anenburg, ANU.

Pioneering new research has helped geologists solve a long-standing puzzle that could help pinpoint new, untapped concentrations of some the most valuable rare earth deposits.


A team of geologists, led by Professor Frances Wall from the Camborne School of Mines, have discovered a new hypothesis to predict where rare earth elements neodymium and dysprosium could be found.

The elements are among the most sought after, because they are an essential part of digital and clean energy manufacturing, including magnets in large wind turbines and electric cars motors.

For the new research, scientists conducted a series of experiments that showed sodium and potassium—rather than chlorine or fluorine as previously thought—were the key ingredients for making these rare earth elements soluble.

This is

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Geologists solve puzzle that could predict valuable rare earth element deposits — ScienceDaily

Pioneering new research has helped geologists solve a long-standing puzzle that could help pinpoint new, untapped concentrations of some the most valuable rare earth deposits.

A team of geologists, led by Professor Frances Wall from the Camborne School of Mines, have discovered a new hypothesis to predict where rare earth elements neodymium and dysprosium could be found.

The elements are among the most sought after, because they are an essential part of digital and clean energy manufacturing, including magnets in large wind turbines and electric cars motors.

For the new research, scientists conducted a series of experiments that showed sodium and potassium — rather than chlorine or fluorine as previously thought — were the key ingredients for making these rare earth elements soluble.

This is crucial as it determines whether they crystalise — making them fit for extraction — or stayed dissolved in fluids.

The experiments could therefore allow geologists

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Double jeopardy for ecologically rare birds and terrestrial mammals

endangered species
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Common assumptions notwithstanding, rare species can play unique and essential ecological roles. After studying two databases that together cover all known terrestrial mammals and birds worldwide, scientists from the CNRS, the Foundation for Biodiversity Research (FRB), Université Grenoble Alpes, and the University of Montpellier have demonstrated that, though these species are found on all continents, they are more threatened by human pressures than ecologically common species and will also be more impacted by future climate change. Thus, they are in double jeopardy. The researchers’ findings, published in Nature Communications (October 8, 2020), show that conservation programs must account for the ecological rarity of species.


It has long been thought that rare species contribute little to the functioning of ecosystems. Yet recent studies have discredited that idea: Rarity is a matter not only of the abundance or geographical range of a species, but also of the distinctiveness

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Double jeopardy for ecologically rare birds and terrestrial mammals — ScienceDaily

Common assumptions notwithstanding, rare species can play unique and essential ecological roles. After studying two databases that together cover all known terrestrial mammals and birds worldwide, scientists from the CNRS, the Foundation for Biodiversity Research (FRB), Université Grenoble Alpes, and the University of Montpellier[1] have demonstrated that, though these species are found on all continents, they are more threatened by human pressures than ecologically common species and will also be more impacted by future climate change. Thus they are in double jeopardy. The researchers’ findings, published in Nature Communications (October 8, 2020), show that conservation programmes must account for the ecological rarity of species.

It has long been thought that rare species contribute little to the functioning of ecosystems. Yet recent studies have discredited that idea: rarity is a matter not only of the abundance or geographical range of a species, but also of the distinctiveness of its ecological functions.

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Rare Earth Metals Get The Presidential Treatment

Last Wednesday, the president signed an executive order addressing the threat posed by the United States’ overreliance on “critical minerals” from “foreign adversaries.”

To be more specific, “critical minerals” here means “rare earth metals,” and “foreign adversaries” means “China.”

Although not as rare as gold, the group of 17 metals are used in the manufacture of advanced technologies, including electric vehicles, wind turbines and missile guidance systems. Your iPhone contains a number of them. Each F-35 fighter jet has about half a ton of these strategic elements.

The problem is that the U.S. no longer produces barite (used in fracking), gallium (semiconductors, 5G telecommunications), graphite (smartphone batteries) and a number of other materials. “For 31 of the 35 critical minerals, the United States imports more than half of its annual consumption,” according to the press release.

Today, China controls some 80 percent to 95 percent of the world market,

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Earth grows large crystals, rare elements in just minutes

Oct. 7 (UPI) — Scientists have gained new insights into crystal growth rates inside pegmatites, veinlike formations that host some of the planet’s biggest crystals, as well as valuable elements such as tantalum, niobium and lithium.

Magma cooling time typically controls the size of crystals — when magma cools quickly, crystals remain microscopic, and when it cools slowly, crystals have time to grow.

But pegmatite crystals appear to upend this logic, researchers said in a study published this week in the journal Nature Communications.

“Pegmatites cool relatively quickly, sometimes in just a few years, and yet they feature some of the largest crystals on Earth,” Cin-Ty Lee, professor of geology at Rice University, said in a news release. “The big question is really, ‘How can that be?'”

To determine the growth rates of pegmatite crystals, scientists turned to the rare elements that are often found inside pegmatites.

“It was more

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