Turns out there are some pretty rare elements in your smartphone. How rare are they and what are they doing in your phone?
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The All-American iPhone
“According to King at the Ames Lab, an iPhone has about 75 elements in it-two-thirds of the periodic table. Even just the outside of an iPhone relies heavily on materials that aren’t commercially available in the U.S. Aluminum comes from bauxite, and there are no major bauxite mines in the U.S. (Recycled aluminum would have to be the domestic source.)”
For metals of the smartphone age, no Plan B
“Many of the metals needed to feed the surging global demand for high-tech products, from smart phones to solar panels, cannot be replaced, leaving some markets vulnerable if resources become scarce, according to a new Yale study.”
Where to Find Rare Earth Elements
“Every time I see a commercial for a new cell phone, I feel a bit nauseous. I love a new cell phone just like the next person, but because of my training as a materials scientist, I feel like a worker in a sausage factory. Cell phones, like sausages, may be great, but you don’t really want to know what it takes to make them.”
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Written By: William Poor
Video credit to DNews YouTube channel