Promotie S. Peelman: recycling

23 april 2019 10:00 - Locatie: Aula, TU Delft - Door: webredactie

Hydrometallurgical Recycling of Rare Earth Elements from Secondary Resources. Promotor 1: J. Sietsma (3mE); Promotor 2: Dr. Y. Yang (3mE).

Promotors: dr. Yongxiang  Yang and Prof. dr. ir. Jilt Sietsma


The rare earth elements (REEs) are a material group that has become a critical resource to the European Union. However, the EU does not have any domestic REE production. With the increasing volatility of the REE market, the EU has begun exploring secondary low-grade resources to mitigate a potential shortage of REEs.

The possibility of extracting REEs from two such resources: (1) mine tailings from LKAB (Luossavaara-Kiirunavaara Aktiebolag) iron ore mine at Kiruna, Sweden, and (2) the ferrous fraction of the shredded WEEE from the WEEE shredder at INDUMETAL RECYCLING, Spain is the subject of investigation of this PhD thesis. These resources are available in high volumes and have a minor fraction of assorted REEs, which if recycled can provide a viable supply of REE for the EU.

The results of this research have led to the development of hydrometallurgical flowsheets for each of these resources, which shows that the possibility exists for recovering REEs from low-grade secondary resources. The experimental work performed for this thesis, combined with the proposed flowsheets, provide a first step into the development of an industrial REE-recovery process within the EU.



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