Economical & Environmentally Benign Extraction of Rare Earth Elements (REES) from Coal & Coal Byproducts Email Page
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Performer:  Tusaar Corporation Location:  Lafayette, Colorado
Project Duration:  03/01/2016 – 12/31/2017 Award Number:  FE0027155
Technology Area:  Rare Earth Recovery Total Award Value:  $1,230,546
Key Technology:  Separation Technologies DOE Share:  $984,424
Performer Share:  $246,122

Laboratory sequestration of rare earth metals<br/>using Tusaar technology
Laboratory sequestration of rare earth metals
using Tusaar technology

Project Description

In this Phase I project, Tusaar will use proprietary technology involving leaching processes and metal sorption media to develop a bench-scale rare earth element (REE) extraction process able to handle approximately one kilogram batches of coal by-product material and deliver a product meeting or exceeding DOE requirements. Tusaar has developed novel and environmentally friendly media to sequester over 45 different metals from aqueous streams. The project end deliverable flowsheet will contain the following steps: (1) possible beneficiation of coal product source material, (2) coal product leaching, (3) radioactive material separation, (4) REE sequestration and recovery, and (5) waste water treatment for heavy metal removal.

Project Benefits

Current technology gives a digestion of fly ash that recovers 10%-50% of the REEs. These percentages are expected to improve with further process development. Once in solution Tusaar’s media will allow for an 80+% recovery of these elements. Successful execution of this project is expected to help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign nations for rare earth metals. This project will also provide a much needed additional beneficial use of the coal fly ash that is produced in significant quantities in the US. The separation of uranium and thorium from the fly ash will enable use of the material in applications where it currently cannot be utilized.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Jason Hissam:
Technology Manager Mary Anne Alvin:
Principal Investigator Gary Carlson: