The demand for rare earths (RE) has been intensified by their large use, especially in high technology sectors. Supply difficulties have forced RE users to seek alternative sources and invest in the development of recycling technologies and options of reuse for these elements. This article seeks to reveal the trends and ongoing changes in national and global prospects of RE. Additionally, it aims to analyze scientific collaboration networks in the area of industrial solid waste (ISW) and waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) exploitation in Brazil, examining both researchers and institutions with greater representation in the field. For this purpose, social network analysis methods were used to build and analyze co-authorship networks based on scientific publications retrieved from the Web of Science (WoS) database. The results showed that the Brazilian collaboration network of ISW research was extremely fragmented and contained 105 different groups, which were not connected to each other. The institutional network of ISW research was composed of 125 institutions, 75.2% of them from Brazil. The Brazilian collaboration network of research in WEEE was small (37 researchers), but fragmented: researchers were divided into eight different groups that do not connect to each other. The institutional network of research in WEEE was composed by 12 institutions, nine of them from Brazil. Therefore, this article presents a network collaboration model to bring together actors involved in the management of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), emphasizing the potential for recovery of RE from these wastes, with the purpose of developing products and services.
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Author(s): Tereza Raquel Taulois Campos, Marcus Vinícius de Araújo Fonseca, Bruna de Paula Fonseca e Fonseca, Edison de Oliveira Martins
Organization(s): Nuclear Engineering Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation
Source: Environment and Natural Resources Research