Department of Energy Boosts Engine Efficiency by 25%February 16, 2011 0 Comments
The U.S. Department of Energy's Ame's Laboratory have announced they've managed to increase engine efficiency by 25% by using rare earth materials Cerium and Ytterbium. The development promises to greatly increase motor efficiency in vehicles of all kinds, including military ones. They may even find an application in large power generators eventually.
Regarding Cerium and Ytterbium, most everyday people don't run across those words very often, but they are part of a group of 15 lanthanides key to the functioning of our modern civilization. These materials are mandatory ingredients in pretty much every new electronic device invented. Some of the bewildering array of applications include civilian uses such as smartphones, tablets, hybrid car components and fiber-optic cables running under the ocean connecting the global Internet. Military applications include lasers, night vision goggles, navy warship engine propulsion, superconductors...you name it.
The reason I mention all these uses is because today China (they produce 97% of the world's supply of rare earth metals) has announced today they will be strategically restricting their rare earth metal exports in order to build a strategic stockpile.