Considerations for Sustainable Rare Earth Separation

T. Villalon
Phoenix Tailings,
United States

Keywords: TBA


Rare earth elements are critical materials that have operational challenges when running a separation circuit larger than lab scale. Engineering a solvent extraction circuit for these elements involves many factors, including extractant selection, mixer-settler configuration, and cascading flows. In particular, choosing the right extractant in conjunction with a specific mixer-settler configuration minimizes several large scale operational difficulties, especially brine formation and excessive reagent consumption. So, a special focus is put on configurational optimizations to simplify the overall circuit, decreasing the number of mixer-settlers and lowering the OPEX for running this type of circuit.