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Recovery of Rare Earth Elements by Liquid-Liquid Extraction from Fresh Water to Hypersaline Solutions

United States Patent Application

View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
The disclosure describes a method of extraction for optimal recovery of rare earth elements (REE). This includes the optimization of a liquid-liquid extraction technique for economic extraction of REE from chemically complex brines. Through the use of a model, operating conditions are altered to increase separation efficiency. The technique achieves >98% recovery of all rare earth elements in one fraction, while using small volumes of sample and reagents. The method of the present invention recovers REE from previously unexploited waste streams, without need for development of new process equipment and while keeping a small footprint because of the volumes involved.
Noack, Clinton W. (Pittsburgh, PA), Karamalidis, Athanasios K. (Pittsburgh, PA), Dzombak, David A. (PIttsburgh, PA)
CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY, a Pennsylvania Non-Profit Corporation (Pittsburgh PA)
15/ 138,117
April 25, 2016
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH [0002] This invention was made with Government support under DE-FE0004000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.