LISTEN: Rare Earth Research in Florida Could Tip the Balance with China

LAKELAND -- Some research being done in Florida could make the U-S less dependent on foreign supplies for an important resource.

Right now, China controls most of the market in rare earth elements. The U-S Department of Energy is trying to change that. It's giving a $150,000 grant to Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland through the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute. Dr. James Mennie says they'll try to extract rare earths from byproducts of Florida's phosphate mines. With Florida's ample phosphate supply, that could be a game-changer.

Mennie's partner, Dr. Parick Zhang, says such a project could provide the entire U-S supply for many elements, if successful.

Listen to an interview with Drs. Zhang and Mennie below:

Photo: Florida Polytechinc University

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