A review of rare earth elements recovery from coal-based materials

W. Zhang
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University,
United States

Keywords: rare earth elements, coal, coal-based materials


Rare earth elements (REEs) have been codified as critical materials by several U.S. governments (e.g., DoE, DoI, DoD), primarily because of their essential role in the development of clean energy industry, and their high dependence on foreign imports to meet the domestic demand. To establish secure supply chains of REEs in the U.S., DoE initiated research and development efforts in 2014 to evaluate the feasibility of extracting REEs from coal-based materials including coal, coal refuse, coal combustion ash, and acid mine drainage. During the past few years, the extraction of REEs from coal-based materials has progressed through feasibility assessment, field sampling and characterization, bench-scale REE separation, and pilot-scale REE production stages. Given the considerable amount of studies in this area, a critical review of REEs recovery from coal-based materials is given in this presentation. The review will help the audience capture the major developments and opportunities in this area.