Novel Membrane and Electrodeposition-Based Separation and Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Coal Combustion Residues Email Page
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Performer:  Duke University Location:  Durham, North Carolina
Project Duration:  03/01/2016 – 02/28/2018 Award Number:  FE0026952
Technology Area:  Rare Earth Recovery Total Award Value:  $902,595
Key Technology:  Separation Technologies DOE Share:  $720,100
Performer Share:  $182,495

Recovery of rare earth elements relative to<br/>the published reference concentration values for<br/>the NIST fly ash standard reference material<br/>(SRM 1633c). REEs were extracted using 3 different<br/>acid leaching methods
Recovery of rare earth elements relative to
the published reference concentration values for
the NIST fly ash standard reference material
(SRM 1633c). REEs were extracted using 3 different
acid leaching methods

Project Description

The goal of this Duke University project is to develop and demonstrate bench-scale hydrometallurgical-based technology to separate and concentrate rare earth elements (REEs) from coal fly ash and other coal combustion residues (CCRs).  Specific objectives for Phase 1 of this project are to: (1) identify and characterize a representative selection of CCR samples as candidates for REE recovery; (2) evaluate the efficiency of hydrometallurgical acid extraction techniques as a function of major CCR characteristics and extraction conditions; (3) optimize membrane filtration and carbon nanotube-enabled electrochemical deposition techniques for concentration of REEs from CCR extracts; (4) perform a technical and economic feasibility study of the proposed separation methods; and (5) develop an implementation plan for a bench-scale system.

Project Benefits

The expected benefits of this project are the development of technologies to recover REEs from a highly abundant waste material (coal combustion residues) and the development of methods to determine the most promising CCR materials for REE recovery. The outcomes will include a new approach for REE extraction that utilizes advanced separation technologies to enable environmentally benign processes relative to conventional approaches that use hazardous chemicals for separations.  

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Jason Hissam:
Technology Manager Mary Anne Alvin:
Principal Investigator Heileen Hsu-Kim, Ph.D.: