10/13/2009

"RE Father," Xu: China should squeeze countries' Rare Earth Industry all over the world


If there is no rare-earth, the world would be what? Every day we watch TV, its bright red on the europium and yttrium from the rare earth elements; out to carry a camera, lens, there Lanthanum; daily use of mobile phones, computers also have ... ... there are indications of rare earth elements in today's One in every five invention patents have one, and rare earth related. Rare Earth in our lives everywhere, be it the use of the element separation is not easy, Xu devoted an entire lifetime for this photocathode.

Famous Story
In January 1955, the central authorities decided to develop an atomic bomb, saying that "all private Atomic Energy," call to the Peking University, Tsinghua University and many other universities to set up atomic energy, mobilization switch to engage scholars in the fields near atomic energy. When he was Deputy Minister of Nuclear Industry Sanqiang transfer Xu served as deputy director of the Department of Atomic Energy of Beijing University, Xu began to engage in the teaching of nuclear physics and nuclear fuel extraction chemistry research, and set up a nuclear fuel chemistry teaching and research. The elderly today frankly stated: "I did not want to go, because I had not studied radiation chemistry, but at that time, the 20th century, 50's ah, we are all subject to distribution."

In 1964, Xu took part in the two Ministry of Machine-top-secret meeting. At the meeting, Xu and so on, get rid of by the Soviet Union experts in precipitation, with our own research, and advanced extraction method to build nuclear fuel reprocessing plant, an atomic bomb material - plutonium. Xu and others in this proposal, so that our country after the withdrawal of Russian experts, in the absence of drawings, using low-cost rapid reconstruction of the plant is not yet complete, so that the nuclear industry in the country's most difficult times embarked on a rapid development track.

In 1972, Peking University Department of Chemistry, received an urgent tasks of war - Pr Nd separation, purity demanding. Xu became the leader of this study. From quantum chemistry to the coordination chemistry, and then to the nuclear fuel chemistry, until the last of the rare-earth chemistry, this is the 3rd change Xu research direction.

Rare earth element, referred to as rare earth, also known as rare earth metals, industrial and "vitamins" is known, was the United States, Japan and other countries in the 21st century as a "strategic element." China has had the world's largest reserves of rare earth resources, but the production technology to master a small number of manufacturers in foreign hands, they will these technologies as highly confidential, so that the resources of China's long period of non-interest dilemma.

Why Patriot missiles can be fairly easily shoot down Scud missiles? Why does F-22 fighter can cruise at supersonic speed? Why US-made tanks and Soviet-made tanks, guns direct from the gap between the small, but the former is always more potential ... ... Xu can play with a few "why", outlines the tremendous progress of today's military technology, and for each one, "Why "From the materials science point of view that" rare earth "can explain all of the above-mentioned" why. "


The picture shows before the year 2000, countries share of global proportion of rare earth production trends. After the mid-1980s, China's sharp increase in the proportion of rare earth production.

This is an "unprecedented" attempt. Pr, Nd belong to the rare earth elements, their chemical properties are very similar, especially the 15 kinds of lanthanide elements, like 15, like twin brothers, the chemical nature of the almost unanimously, to every one of them is very difficult to separate, while the Pr, Nd separation it is most difficult.

However, Xu played one another "beautiful battle." He established the theory of independent innovation, derived more than 100 formulas to achieve the return of rare earth cascade extraction. At that time, the general extraction system Pr-Nd separation factor can only be reached 1.4-1.5, while Xu rare earth extraction process from start to improve, so that Pr-Nd separation factor of breaking the world record at that time, reaching 4. Moreover, the original kind of time-consuming, low output and separation factor is low, is unable to continue production of the production process was completely abandoned.

For now, fierce global financial turmoil, many companies struggled and even crashing down, more than 20 years ago, foreign rare earth industry, multinational companies, have also experienced a similar sea change, but not the financial turmoil, they are called "China Impact" (China Impact). It is precisely because Xu's research results using a single high-purity rare earth production of a large number of exports, so that those who disregard of China's "Rare-earth great power" status of the country, had the face of such an awkward reality: China produced a single high-purity rare earth production of the world's More than 80%, with China's massive exports of high-purity rare earth, the international price of a single rare earth dropped by 30% to 40%, including the United States Molybdenum Company, rare earth separating enterprises from Japan, France, Rhodia companies, long-term occupation of the world market, a monopoly of rare earth enterprises, respectively, had to cut, cut-off, bankruptcy or seek technical cooperation with the Chinese people. China finally achieved a rare-earth resources, major Powers, RE-producing country, a major exporter of rare earth changes. To this end, Xu has been called "Yuan Longping, rare-earth industry."

Famous present tense

Today, more than 80-year-old Xu is still active in scientific research and cutting-edge, and recently, apart from being revised edition of the "quantum chemistry", is also preparing a "knowledge of the system of natural classification and a new coding method." Xu believes that now a common classification of several books, there are shortcomings, but he was "the knowledge system are divided into three categories, one category is science and technology, including social sciences, natural sciences, life sciences, information science, engineering and technical sciences, medicine, agriculture, etc.; second category is literature, language, music, art, etc.; The third category is philosophy and religion. They explore three different worlds - science and technology, exploration, research, awareness, transformation and protection of the material world, literary and artistic expression, emotional world, philosophy as a whole to study the spiritual and material world, religion is a part of people's faith in the world. "

Inspired by a Chinese pharmacy drawers, Xu has a "drawer complex", allowing him to develop the collection of information and classified to do the card habits. Neatly arranged in his family who are stuck above the tag metal cupboard, open a look inside from the inside to the outside neat emitter of the information, subject, title, at a glance. "5,000 years ago, the world's only three subjects: language, totems, art; in 2000, has increased to 5000; is expected by mid-century, there should be 20000 subjects, of which 15000 are waiting for a new record. The Chinese people the creation of at least 1 / 5. "

Famous Biography Xu Guangxian

Well-known physical chemist, chemistry teacher, pioneer of the Chinese Rare Earth Chemistry, cascade extraction theory-builders. Chinese Academy of Sciences.
1920, 11, was born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang. July 1944 graduated from Jiao Tong University, Department of Chemistry, in March 1951 received a doctorate from Columbia University. Now the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking University professor, doctoral tutor, honorary director of Rare Earth Chemistry Research Center.





As a key high-tech weapons of rare earth materials has an extremely important position, developed countries have attached great importance to rare-earth industry, but since the 1980s, after the country of rare earth giant monopolies have been low-cost squeeze the Chinese Rare Earth.