Novel Method to Retrieve Rare Earth Elements from Acid Mine Drainage

Novel Method to Retrieve Rare Earth Elements from Acid Mine Drainage

News Type: Federal Source: AZO Cleantech
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A research group from Penn State has designed a two-stage treatment process that allows higher concentrations of rare earth elements to be retrieved using smaller amounts of chemicals compared to what was possible earlier.

Rare earth elements are a family of 17 minerals commonly used in sophisticated technologies and named by the United States as crucial to the country’s national and economic protection. At present, the United States imports around 100% of such materials, where China produces around 85% of the global supply.

According to the researchers, AMD derived from coal mining operations in Appalachia constitute a potential domestic source of rare earth elements since it usually consists of these minerals in high concentrations, and since it is already being gathered and treated as a result of environmental issues.