Economical & Environmentally Benign Extraction of Rare Earth Elements (REES) from Coal & Coal Byproducts


Laboratory sequestration of rare earth metals<br/>using Tusaar technology
Laboratory sequestration of rare earth metals
using Tusaar technology
Tusaar Corporation
Website:  Tusaar Corporation
Award Number:  FE0027155
Project Duration:  03/01/2016 – 12/31/2017
Total Award Value:  $1,230,546
DOE Share:  $984,424
Performer Share:  $246,122
Technology Area:  Rare Earth Recovery
Key Technology:  Separation Technologies
Location:  Lafayette, Colorado

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.

Contact Information

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

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