High Temperature Rare Earth Element (REE) Extraction Technology

K. Merichko
Concurrent Technologies Corporation,
United States

Keywords: dysprosium, terbium, three-tier high-temperature smelting technology


Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) will present our approach to rare earth element (REE) extraction and separation using a high temperature process, applying proven steelmaking principles to isolate these essential metals. CTC is developing a three-tier high-temperature smelting technology for REE extraction from a variety of carbon-based feedstocks including coal mining refuse such as fly ash and off-specification coal. An electric arc furnace technology would utilize temperatures ranging from 700 degrees centigrade (slag melting point) to in excess of 3000 degrees centigrade to distill high-boiling point metals. Our approach targets unique boiling points of each REE, resulting in the removal of impurities and allowing precise separation of metals. The final separation process of this carbothermic system is also suitable for the separation of more concentrated feedstock resulting from alternate extraction processes, mined ore materials, or partially processed REE-containing materials. The separation and isolation of pure REE metals fills an essential gap in the domestic supply chain, providing essential materials for American defense, electric vehicle, and clean energy sectors.