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opportunities of strategic rare earth materials processing industry in hong kong 13 march 2012 n.
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  1. Opportunities of Strategic Rare Earth Materials Processing Industry in Hong Kong稀土材料加工工業在香港的發展商機13 March 2012 Applicant Organization: Implementation Agent:

  2. Introduction

  3. Rare Earth Elements

  4. Rare Earth Elements • Rare earths are enablers • Various forms of co-deposit in mineral ores • These elements exhibit special electronic, magnetic, catalytic and optical properties • They can have a profound effect on the ultimate performance of complex engineered systems • REEs can be divided into two broad categories

  5. Rare Earth Elements • REE: 17 elements in total • Lanthanoid series plus two related elements in the periodic table (Sc and Y) • Categorized according to their electronic configuration, physical and chemical properties Heavy REE (HREE):Sc, Y,TbLu (21, 39, 65-71) Light REE (LREE):La Gd (57- 64)

  6. REEs Applications in Hong Kong Critical Components for Electronics hard drives, mobile phones, fibre optics, digital cameras, lasers Lighting and displays energy-efficient light bulb, LCD screen, solid-state lighting Automotive hybrid electric motors, hybrid batteries, catalytic converters Watch and clock hairsprings, batteries, magnetic pulse Medical X-ray tubes, portable X-ray machines, positron emission tomography (PET)

  7. REEs Applications in Hong Kong Critical Components for Tooling Master alloys, mould and die; properties enhancements: mechanical strength, ductility, electrical conductance, castability, surface appearance Jewellery Hard gold, alloyed gold Chemicals Catalysts, glass additives

  8. REEs Special Applications Military RE permanent magnet (REPM) in flight control motors, Y-based ceramics to protect jet-engine Petroleum Industry Fluid cracking catalysts Green Energy REPM in Wind turbines Superconductors Y-based high-temperature superconductor

  9. REEs Value Adding Chain RE intermediate specialty materials Separated REMs/REOs Sputtering Targets Master Alloy Fine Chemicals Floatation/Separation Electronics Permanent Magnet Catalyst Grinding and Milling Data Storage Battery Alloy Polishing Powder Microsensors Auto parts Phosphors RE Mineral Ore Display Critical Components Water Treatment

  10. Market of REEs • Global production of REEs reached 129,000 tonnes (market value of US$17.5 billion) • Demand on raw REEs is forecasted to increase by 56% each year in the next five years • China alone constitutes 92% of global production of raw REEs in 2011 • Manufacturing of high-tech products require the use of refined and purified REEs-based specialty intermediate materials

  11. Market of REEs • China is also the major consumer of REEs • China has more than 50% REEs exported to overseas high-tech economies (e.g. Japan and USA) • Implementation of RE export restriction puts China in a strategic advantageous position

  12. Problems vs Opportunities RE Technologies in China • China mainly export primary RE raw materials to overseas high-tech economies (e.g. Japan and USA) • Major advanced RE processing technologies owned by overseas companies • Materials purity needs improvement to meet high-tech requirements • Need technical breakthrough to realize benefit from the most value-adding step – production of RE intermediate specialties Accelerating Global Demands on REEs • Raw materials of innovative, high-tech and lucrative products, • Tablet computers, smart phones, 3D televisions, hybrid vehicles, etc. Export restrictions • China is now in an advantaged position (Export quota ~30,000 tonnes) only if technologies are available for processing REEs-based materials Feasible for Hong Kong to establish REEs-based specialty intermediate materials processing centre?

  13. REEs Market by Applications RE Magnets Master Alloy Fine Chemicals Rare Earth Oxide Demand by Application (Metric Tons) RE Magnets Sputtering Targets Master Alloy Fine Chemicals Global Demand for Rare Earths by Industry Through 2016(Metric Tons) (Source: BCC Research )

  14. High Potential Applications Fine Chemicals Sputtering Targets Master Alloy (RE Magnet) • Industries of Electronics, Lighting and Display and Automotive Components: • Intermediates with highest potential: Phosphors, autocatalysts, sputtering targets of RE oxides and metals, permanent magnets • High value-adding • Large market share • Expanding rapidly • Remain strong market share and growth rate

  15. Recommended REEs IndustryDynamics in Hong Kong • High-Tech Industries • Electronics • Lighting/Display • Automotive • Jewellery • Tooling • Medical Device • Watch & Clock

  16. Technologies

  17. Refining Process of Rare Earth Fine Chemicals A flowchart for rare earth element production process

  18. Suppliers for Fine Chemicals

  19. LED Phosphors Production • Global market: 9,000 ton of REOs was used in LED category RE Fine Chemicals RE Phosphor LED Products

  20. Overview of Phosphors Processing Technology • Solid-State Reaction • Sintering at around 1400-1600℃ for 2-4 hours • Solution-based Chemical Synthesis • Hydrothermal Synthesis • Chemical Co-Precipitation • Sol-Gel Synthesis • Combustion Synthesis • Freeze Granulation • Europium, Terbium and Yttrium phosphors globally at 450,420, and 14,000 metric tons per year, respectively. • High levels of purity of REOs are necessary (>99.99%)

  21. Overview of Phosphors Processing Technology • Quality and Purity of Phosphors are critical to the display/lighting performance • Limitations in current production in China • Necessary to improve process knowhow of high grade phosphors using high purity REO • Some formulations are patented • Quality control issues

  22. Rare Earth Catalyst Production • Global market: REO catalysts are used on fluid cracking and automobile catalytic converters totaling 27,400 tons Fluid cracking catalysts used in petroleum refining industry REO catalysts used in automotive catalytic converters

  23. Overview of Catalysts Processing Technology PrecipitationImpregnation

  24. Overview of Catalysts Processing Technology Catalyst Forming (A) Tabletting (B) Extrusion (C) Granulation (D) Spray Drying

  25. Overview of Catalysts Processing Technology • Limitations in current production in China • Necessary to improve process knowhow of high purity catalysts to prevent poisoning • Many catalysts technology are patented by overseas suppliers • Quality issues from lack of experience and technology • Need a long development time for qualification in global automotive industry

  26. Rare Earth Fine Chemicals Technologies • Separation and Purification Technologies into Purified Metals • Rare Earth Industries (REI) (www.rareearthindustries.com), Canada • Shin-Etsu Chemical Company Limited (www.shinetsu.co.jp), Japan • Stabilization of High-Efficiency Rare Earth Doped Powders for White LEDs • Osram Sylvania (www.sylvania.com), Germany • Rare Earth Based Nanomaterials • Antaria Limited (www.antaria.com), Australia • The University of Central Florida Research Foundation (www.research.ucf.edu), USA

  27. Overview of the Global Sputtering Target Market • 1.16 million sputtering targets have been sold in 2011 • 60% of global revenue generated by trading sputtering targets has take place in Asia-Pacific regions, Japan and China are two most significant stakeholders • Used in wide range of industries • electronics, lighting and display industries • Energy sector, including automotive battery and solar cells Sputtering Targets Applications in electronics, lighting and display industries and energy sector

  28. Production Technologies of Sputtering Target Materials

  29. Production Technologies of Sputtering Target Materials • Melting and casting • *Vacuum Induction Melting (VIM) • Major VIM machinery suppliers: Consarc Engineering (UK), • Inductotherm Coporation (US), • Fuji Electric Thermo Systems (Japan) • (2) Continuous Casting • Powder Metallurgy • (1) Atomization • Gas atomization, Water jet atomization • (2) Blending • Compaction and sintering • *Cold/Hot isostatic pressing (CIP/HIP), Spark Plasma Sintering(SPS) • Major HIP equipment suppliers : Avure Technologies (US) • Pressure Technology Inc. (US) • Bodycote Heat Treatment (UK) • Heat treatment • (3) Finished operations • Machining, Plate bonding • Spray Technology • (1) Induction melting • (2) Gas atomization • (3) Spraying on support (preform) • (4) Compacting • Major Supplier : Kobelco (Japan) * Critical technology / equipment

  30. Overview of the Global Master Alloy Market • Global production of rare earth permanent magnets are around • 92,000 tons in 2011 • Incorporated into electrical motors and generators • Used for sensors, loudspeakers, couplings etc. • Critical technologies patented by Japan and US companies Master Alloy Wide range of applications such as electronics and automotive component industries Permanent Magnets

  31. Production Technologies of Master Alloy • Vacuum Induction Melting (VIM) and Casting • Vacuum level is crucial to high purity master alloy • VIM equipment supplies: • Consarc (US & UK) • ALD Vacuum Technologies (Germany) • Retech Systems LLC (US) Side-opening type small scale VIM furnace VIM and casting furnace (5kg) VIM and casting furnace (250kg)

  32. Limitations of Sputtering Targets & Master alloys • Limitations in current production in China • Some processing equipment required oversea export license such as Plasma Spark Sintering, plasma spraying and large scale high vacuum VIM furnaces • Necessary to improve process knowhow for high purity target materials and metallurgy of RE alloys • Quality issues from lack of experience and technology • Need a long development time for qualification in high-tech electronic industrial application

  33. Results & Recommendations

  34. Demands in HK • Consumption of Sputtering Targets in Hong Kong Industries • Consumption of Rare Earth Permanent Magnets in Hong Kong Industries

  35. Demands in HK • Consumption of Rare Earth Phosphors in Hong Kong Industries • Consumption of Rare Earth Automotive Catalysts in Hong Kong Industries

  36. Rare Earth Supply Chain • The supply chain of RE industry: • Mineral ore (2) Mineral concentrates  (3) Individual RE products  (4) Functional materials  (5) Components  (6) End products (high-tech industries). • In the upstream stages: (1) Mineral ore and (2) Mineral concentration, • involved are mining and refining • resource consuming and not environmental friendly • less economic benefit (1) Mineral Ore (2) Mineral Concentrates (3) Individual RE products (6) End Products (high-tech industries) (5) Components (4) Functional Materials

  37. Rare Earth Supply Chain • Downstream stages, (4) Functional materials and (5) Components • involved are purification and materials processing • high-tech industries • more environmental friendly processes and allows recycling of the processing materials. • Downstream process have more economical beneficial 1:50-500

  38. Industry Incentives • Oversea experience & knowhow for RE downstream process not available in China • Complete the gap in RE supply chain • Produce high value added RE downstream functional materials & components using semi-finished RE metal concentrate from China • Provide a stable supply of RE functional materials to China’s high-tech industries • Enhance economic growth in HK

  39. Opportunities for HKSAR (1) Incentive for overseas partnership: Technology/IP Protection/Infrastructure/Supply Chain (2) Build up local expertise: Train up knowledge based talent/overseas expertise (3) Environmental aspects: Secondary refining with less pollution (4) Benefit to China and Hong Kong: Economic/business strategy/technical job opportunities

  40. Incentive for Overseas Partners • Advanced Technology and Technical Support • Supporting organization such as HKSTP, Industrial Estate, ASTRI, HKPC, R&D centres, local universities • Import of high-tech equipment without restrictions • Closest location to support the market of RE function materials and components • IP protection • World class legal system & IP protection • Global Asia R&D centresexperience

  41. Incentive for OverseasPartners • Infrastructure & stable environment • Uninterrupted electricity and water supply • Lack of natural disasters • Political stable • Low land space required for RE processing suitable for existing industrial Estate • Supply Chain • Redistribution policy of oversea core technology owners • Stable supply of RE functional materials to China (world’s factory) • Close to the target market • Logistical support from airport & seaport

  42. Build up Local Expertise • Advantages of local expertise • Not labour intensive, need skillful local engineers • Good engineering ethics, focus on duty and responsibility • Worldwide reputation in IP and technology licensing • Short term - Overseas partners • Shorten technology upgrade time and break down critical technology barrier • Platform for training and practice of local engineers • Long term - Strategic planning • Train up local engineers with technical knowhow & experience

  43. Environmental Aspects • Starting Materials are min 99 % pure without radioactive contamination • Only final purification and materials processing needed • Waste treatment is not difficult for less than 10 tons waste water per day (typical figure for 1 ton RE production) • Solid residues are recyclable • Little or no exhaust gas

  44. Benefits • RE functional materials / components re-import to China high-tech industries CEPA arrangement • Economic of additional hundreds to thousands millions US$ • Short Lead Time with oversea partners • Oversea partners’ experience close up technology gap • Quick startup and not from scratch • Good production image from oversea partners • Shorten qualification requirement • Diversification to high-tech job market

  45. Next Steps • Development of a 5-10 years RE Industrial Roadmap in HK • Time frame for R&D, infrastructure, partnerships • Products types for best technology & economic outcomes • Critical steps – product certification and evaluation schemes

  46. Next Steps • Initial Industrial Development • Focus on electronic, automotive components, lighting and display • Demands on sputtering targets, magnetic materials, permanent magnet and phosphors

  47. Government Support • Investment policy • RE Industrial Startup funding • Tax refund • Logistic • Reformulate industrial estates scheme to facilitate needs of RE industry e.g. Junk Bay land space. • Engineering talents • Establish internship programme / scholarship / collaboration with universities to train young engineers

  48. Thank you! Q&A