Reagents for REE Recovery

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haja
Reagents for REE Recovery

What an interesting project - thanks so much for sharing!

I was wondering what chemical reagents are traditionally used for REE recovery, and what effects those might have on the environment and on communities? It seems that this innovative approach has a lot of potential for a 'cleaner' process.

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Bjones's picture
Bjones

Thank you for your interest and questions. For the leaching traditional the inorganic acids used are hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid and nitric acid. For the flotation the chemical reagents used are MIBC, NaOl and then pH modifiers. For the effects on the environment and communities the impact is with the tails (waste) and if it is improperly stored, can cause detrimental impacts to the environment (soil, air, water).

mbuhman
Question: 
This was a very innovative project, and it solves a growing environmental concern. I saw on your poster the REEs recovered were Bastnaesite and Calcite. Is there any potential to apply this method to other REEs?
Bjones's picture
Bjones

Thank you for your positive comments and question. Our method can be used for recovery of REEs from other ores, such as monazite or loparite. The purpose of the organic acid in the bastnaesite ore flotation is to depress the calcite to decrease the amount of calcite in the REEs concentrate. So other ores that have similar gangue (waste) minerals could benefit from this process.