Efficient Rare Earth Element Recovery

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2014-WANG-66915
Lanthanides (Lns) are the major components of rare earth elements, which are critical components of many high-valued products such as petroleum refining catalysts, phosphors in color televisions and flat panel displays, permanent magnets, and rechargeable batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles. Currently, the Lns used in the U.S. are primarily imported from China, which produces more than 90 percent of the Lns used globally. China has reduced the export quota by half since 2010, making it highly desirable to develop efficient, cost-effective processes to produce and recover Lns domestically.

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a ligand-assisted elution chromatography process and system for the separation of Lns using a robust, low-cost, inorganic sorbent titania. This new design can effectively separate Lns with purities and yields greater than 95 percent. Furthermore, this new process eliminates the need for harsh chemicals, reduces the footprint, and lowers the overall purification cost.

To view a video related to this technology, click on this link: https://youtu.be/6sZmT-44HFg

Advantages:
-Produces high-purity lanthanides
-Efficient, low-cost, safe process for separation
-Harsh or expensive chemicals are not required to regenerate the columns

Potential Applications:
-High-tech products
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