Steps to a greener future: The potential source/s of Niobium-Yttrium-Flourine (NYF) rich pegmatite rocks
Minenhle Maphumulo, Steps to a greener future: The potential source/s of Niobium-Yttrium-Flourine (NYF) rich pegmatite rocks
Winner - University of Johannesburg VYT local programme (2023)
Cars, smartphones and Tv’s (just to mention a few) form part of our everyday lives yet have you ever wondered what runs these gadgets and where that comes from? With the change of focus from fossil fuels to greener alternatives for energy production, what can be used to replace non-renewable energy? Well, the answer is rare-earth elements and that is where my research comes in. My study focuses on investigating where rocks that host these rare-earth elements (for example, niobium, ytterium, fluorine) could possibly come from. Much like doing a DNA test, but for rocks in this case. My results will be used to find the source of these rocks and also model how they end up enriched in rare metals. This model can later be adopted as an effective tool to understand how rocks that may be enriched in rare metals around the world are formed and contribute to discovering other enriched rocks. The grass is greener after all!