We're Running Out of These Elements — Here's How

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  • Published: 07 November 2019
  • Phones, TVs, solar panels, and electric car batteries are all made of some rare and unusual elements. As our modern world creates more and more of these technologies, will things go from "rare" to "nonexistent" and what will we do then?

    Hosted by: Michael Aranda

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    Sources:
    rsc.org/periodic-table/element/13/aluminium
    rsc.org/periodic-table/element/27/cobalt
    rsc.org/periodic-table/element/33/arsenic
    rsc.org/periodic-table/element/49/indium

    oulu.fi/energy/node/46134
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    gizmodo.com/most-commercial-graphene-is-just-expensive-pencil-lead-1829625572
    pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2002/fs087-02/fs087-02.pdf
    acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/earthelements.html
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    pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2014/3078/pdf/fs2014-3078.pdf
    link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13563-018-0160-0
    sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/monazite
    pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2002/fs087-02/fs087-02.pdf
    io9.gizmodo.com/how-chinas-rare-earth-weapon-went-from-boom-to-bust-1653638596
    mineralseducationcoalition.org/minerals-database/arsenic/
    pnas.org/content/112/14/4257.full#ref-5
    cobaltinstitute.org/lithium-ion-batteries.html
    onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cssc.201802556
    prd-wret.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/assets/palladium/production/s3fs-public/atoms/files/mcs-2019-galli.pdf
    phys.org/news/2019-05-china-threat-deprive-rare-earths.html
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    resourcepanel.org/file/381/download?token=he_rldvr
    prd-wret.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/assets/palladium/production/s3fs-public/atoms/files/mcs-2019-arsen.pdf
    sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S089268750900106X
    onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/cssc.201802556
    copper.org/publications/newsletters/innovations/2004/05/producing_copper_natures_way_bioleaching.html
    jchps.com/specialissues/Special%20issue3/33%20jchps%20si3%20addn%20kavitha%20147-149.pdf
    ------
    Images:
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    istockphoto.com/vector/periodic-table-of-elements-gm1142193660-306312056
    videoblocks.com/video/flying-over-rows-of-solar-panels-r193mwuhxjnwc60uj
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Comments • 1 676

  • SuperAnime4444
    SuperAnime4444  9 hours back

    This is why I drop electronics at Best Buy's bins instead of throwing them into the garbage.

    • psychotikpaisano
      psychotikpaisano  22 hours back

      Hmm. Titanium will spark if struck against another piece of itself

      • Al Rats
        Al Rats  1 days back

        It's criminal that we have constructed a society where the end of life of products are not considered in the design of the product.

        • Matthew Weisenburger
          Matthew Weisenburger  1 days back

          Just another reason to travel to other planets

          • Tonechild
            Tonechild  1 days back

            All of the elements are just made up of electrons and neutrons, so, just grab those and put them together, then you get whatever elements you need. Probably just need a lot of energy, which you can get from nuclear fusion, which by the way probably makes elements too.

            • El Asesino
              El Asesino  2 days back

              recycle much

              • spijkerpoes
                spijkerpoes  2 days back

                Why no word on planned obsolescence?
                I'd have no trouble inheriting my parent's laptop if it functioned alright
                Like a voyager space probe

                • ᖇᗩ乙0229
                  ᖇᗩ乙0229  2 days back

                  Me, an intellectual: _We still have SUN_

                  • TRR47
                    TRR47  2 days back

                    5:28 *shots fired

                    • Brynna Wenz
                      Brynna Wenz  2 days back

                      God I recognize this guy from some old YouTube channel but I can’t place it..

                      • Unotch
                        Unotch  2 days back

                        Seems like a good time to invade the Congo!

                        • Chris Pierce
                          Chris Pierce  2 days back

                          Thanks scishow for depressing me before work..

                          • STEPHAN FEIBISH
                            STEPHAN FEIBISH  2 days back

                            I have shares in many if not most of the companies that mine the elements mentioned. Most are money losing propositions that probably will go bankrupt. Losing money for their original shareholders. Picked up for a song and perhaps profitable for some private equity investors.

                            • Steve Mclean
                              Steve Mclean  2 days back

                              When we run out of helium., that is when we all die.

                              • Lorenzo Robles
                                Lorenzo Robles  2 days back

                                @7:27 he claims recycling the metals will help stop climate change...you can't stop the climate, brother.

                                • Darmok
                                  Darmok  2 days back

                                  Two words: *asteroid mining*

                                  • The One Minds
                                    The One Minds  2 days back

                                    Alchemy is the solution to all the problems listed here

                                    • Frukwon 420
                                      Frukwon 420  2 days back

                                      tech companies should pay consumers to recycle their tech

                                      • Lakshmi T
                                        Lakshmi T  3 days back

                                        Why are lanthanide series marked two periods up the group?

                                        • DEATHWISH -CHRIS
                                          DEATHWISH -CHRIS  3 days back

                                          Totally unrelated but the host looks so much like Chino Moreno singer from the Deftones!

                                          Great video, thanks!

                                          • Ben Johnson
                                            Ben Johnson  3 days back

                                            Global warming is a con, by the way.

                                            • Hans Hoerdemann
                                              Hans Hoerdemann  3 days back

                                              What's wrong with his ear lobes?

                                              • Daniel Law
                                                Daniel Law  3 days back

                                                I look forward to mining asteroid.

                                                • Harry Helen
                                                  Harry Helen  3 days back

                                                  Damn. This means we can’t make the Death Star. I’m so sad.

                                                  • Armando Flores
                                                    Armando Flores  3 days back

                                                    Unlimited universe and we're running out of elements. Smh

                                                    • Rose Gott
                                                      Rose Gott  3 days back

                                                      Thank you, handsome science guy!

                                                      • Adam Salazar
                                                        Adam Salazar  3 days back

                                                        Intense.

                                                        • Cole Chapman
                                                          Cole Chapman  3 days back

                                                          Obviously the solution is to print out more elements duh.

                                                          • mikitz
                                                            mikitz  3 days back

                                                            I used to mining anti-materia. The mine blew up, once I materialized the proceeds.

                                                            • 989533234564
                                                              989533234564  3 days back

                                                              assuming we cant just get them from space in the future once the price is high enough there will be people willing to mine in dangerous conditions to extract the materials even if they try to make doing so illegal, if the price of arsenic was say $200/kg and there were deposits near me with around 1kg of arsenic per ton of ore mined id be right out there with a pick axe and a gas mask id like to think im a decent enough chemist so unless the extraction of the metal requires electrolysis at 2000k ish like with something like sodium or aluminium i could probably do the extraction on a small scale too can't be much worse than working with mercury or lead.

                                                              • Marco Cardin
                                                                Marco Cardin  3 days back

                                                                Metals can be recycled but it's almost impossible to recover helium and that's a huge trouble!

                                                                • tentimesful
                                                                  tentimesful  3 days back

                                                                  China has probably has the most minerals as their prices stay low, in made in China products... Samsung and others are bringing products that cost 1000+ dollar smartphones , which is a joke... But in real life we will run out of things we can't make out of nothing, iron wolf ertz, uranium, oil etc... World should keep hold on what brings us to forward without those minerals and fossils...

                                                                  • oliver franklin
                                                                    oliver franklin  3 days back

                                                                    The future is bleak for your kids

                                                                    • Jimme2020
                                                                      Jimme2020  3 days back

                                                                      Asteroid mining would solve all the problems......

                                                                      • Betty Hancock
                                                                        Betty Hancock  3 days back

                                                                        Wonder how much of these things are on the moon? Or asteroids

                                                                        • Betty Hancock
                                                                          Betty Hancock  3 days back

                                                                          I don't think we're going to have to worry about all this electronics and solar panels much longer. Hopefully.

                                                                          • Rich
                                                                            Rich  4 days back

                                                                            Graphene will be the material of the 21 century.

                                                                            • Mr Monstah
                                                                              Mr Monstah  4 days back

                                                                              Graphene is like really easy to make though

                                                                              • Ravi Rajyaguru
                                                                                Ravi Rajyaguru  4 days back

                                                                                Thanos did have a point though.

                                                                                • Lobster Johnson
                                                                                  Lobster Johnson  4 days back

                                                                                  So this is what the Incubus singer is up to these days

                                                                                  • Gitana Maldita
                                                                                    Gitana Maldita  4 days back

                                                                                    Good motivation for asteroid mining?

                                                                                    • Randy Wiggins
                                                                                      Randy Wiggins  4 days back

                                                                                      Radio Shack had a battery return policy alleged to be recycled but bet they were tossed. Recycling only makes sense in bulk . Car tires still a problem.

                                                                                      • Wayne Shilcock
                                                                                        Wayne Shilcock  4 days back

                                                                                        China owns most of the rare minerals, so war with China then.

                                                                                        • Mi 28
                                                                                          Mi 28  4 days back

                                                                                          All that said, recycling is significantly more expensive than mining.

                                                                                        • Gandoff2000
                                                                                          Gandoff2000  4 days back

                                                                                          Recycling?

                                                                                          • Vinder Singh
                                                                                            Vinder Singh  4 days back

                                                                                            RECYCLING IS KEY OF SUSTAINABILITY.

                                                                                            • derpaderp
                                                                                              derpaderp  4 days back

                                                                                              Good video you've become a way better public speaker since I lasted watched you like maybe 2-3 years ago

                                                                                              • Devious Verendus
                                                                                                Devious Verendus  4 days back

                                                                                                A big issue with the limited resources we have is also just the fact that producers of gadgets and other products push to sell as much as possible and therefore release a new phone every year instead of waiting a few years and preserving our resources