There are a number of trace elements that were considered just as laboratory curiosities but now are key components for the development of new technologies. For most of these elements, the present understanding of their concentrations, transformation and transport in the different environmental compartments is scarce and/or contradictory. These elements, here defined as technology-critical elements (TCEs) include Nb, Ta, Ga, In, Ge, Tl, Te, the platinum group elements (Pt, Os, Ru, Rh, Pd and Ir), and most of the rare earth elements (Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu). They are undergoing a significant change in their cycle at the Earth’s surface due to their increase use in a variety of technological applications. Their impact on their biogeochemical cycles and potential biological and human health threats needs to be further explored.
The training school objectives are introduction of Ph.D. students and post-doctoral researchers to the analytical protocols (from sampling to analysis) for TCEs measurements in various environmental compartments and matrices, as well as uncertainty measurement and data validation.
Further information about COST action TD 1407: http://www.costnotice.net