Rare Earth Elements Recovery Using Food Waste

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University team
Team members, Baxter Jones, Kayla Gibson, and Katy Lobeda, introduce their efforts to convert food waste into organic acids to recover rare earth elements (REEs) by walking through the various processing steps involved. Current conclusions and future work are discussed.

The principal investigator is (Dr.) Wencai Zhang from Virginia Tech Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering. The co-principal investigators are (Dr.) Haibo Huang and (Dr.) Hassan Amini, from Virginia Tech Food Science and Technology and West Virginia University Mining Engineering departments, respectively. Qing Jin is a postdoctoral student working on this project from Virginia Tech Food Science and Technology department. Qi Li and Emmy Muhoza are the graduate students working on this project, from Virginia Tech Mining and Minerals Engineering and West Virginia University Mining Engineering departments, respectively. Baxter Jones, Katy Lobeda, and Kayla Gibson, are the undergraduate students working on this project, from Virginia Tech Mining and Minerals Engineering, Virginia Tech Food Science and Technology and West Virginia University Mining Engineering departments, respectively.

EPA P3 Video Presentation

Poster (click to open a full size image): 
Rare Earth Elements Recovery Using Food Waste poster

Food waste and the rare earth elements (REEs) mining can lead to a negative environmental impact if not addressed. The purpose of this poster is to communicate a potential solution to these problems through conversion of food waste into organic acids to recover REEs. Team members walk through the processes used in addition to covering the current outcomes and conclusions of the work completed.