Rhenium is a specialty metal highly relevant to the aviation industry as part of high-temperature superalloys used in the manufacture of jet engines, as well as the chemical industry. While not a Rare Earth Element (REE) itself, rhenium is extremely scarce in the earth’s crust and is almost exclusively recovered in very limited quantities as a byproduct of molybdenum and copper refinement.
With the U.S.’s foreign import dependency rate currently standing at 86% for its rhenium supply and China and Kazakhstan topping the list of our foreign supplier nations, the element has all the makings of a critical mineral from a U.S. point of view. The Department of Defense (DoD) has taken note, the question is – will our policy makers?
Stay tuned for more for rhenium-related updates on blog, as well as on Twitter and Facebook throughout the month of February.