Liquid membranes for rare earths separations

April 16, 2019

Congratulations to Ryan for publishing his paper on the separation of rare earth metals from coal ash leachates!

Ryan's research compared liquid membrane separation technologies with conventional solvent extraction methods for concentrating rare earth elements (REE) from aqueous mixtures. His work specifically targeted REE extraction from coal ash, a high volume solid waste that is known to be enriched with REEs. Ryan's experimental results identified widely variable REE separation efficiencies with liquid emulsion membranes and supported liquid membranes, and these variations could be explained by different factors controlling mass transfer during the separation process. His paper provides new insights in improving these advanced liquid membrane separation methods for the recovery of valuable methods from complex secondary feedstocks like coal ash and other geological wastess.

Read his paper here!

Ryan C. Smith, Ross K. Taggart, James C. Hower, Mark R. Wiesner, and Heileen Hsu-Kim. Selective Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Coal Fly Ash Leachates Using Liquid Membrane Processes. Environmental Science & Technology 2019 53 (8), 4490-4499. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b00539