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Success Story Archive

Accomplishments for FOA-1718: Development of Separation and Extraction Processes for Production of Rare Earth Elements (REE) Materials from Domestic U.S. Coal and Coal By-Products


NETL-Supported Project Develops Flexible Rare Earth Element Extraction Method From Low-Rank Coal Ash

Researchers from the University of North Dakota (UND) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) identified unique pretreatment water washing and sequential extraction methods to extract rare earth elements (REEs) from low-rank coal (LRC) ash.


Anthony Zinn, Federal Project Manager, NETL
Bruce Folkedahl, UND


NETL-Supported Project Develops Promising REE Extraction Method From Coal Refuse

Novel leaching lixiviant developed at Virginia Tech has been shown to out-perform standard industrial hydrometallurgical acids for isolating and concentrating rare earths from coal-based clay refuse materials.


Anthony Zinn, Federal Project Manager, NETL
Christopher Noble, Virginia Tech


NETL-Led Collaboration Develops Rare Earth Element Extraction Sorbent

Wayne State University researchers, in collaboration with the University of California-Los Angeles and Los Alamos National Laboratory, successfully concentrated the REEs in a coal fly ash sample taken from a coal-fired power plant near Detroit, resulting in a rare earth oxide powder of more than 13 percent weight.


Maria Reidpath, Federal Project Manager, NETL
Dr. Timothy Dittrich, Wayne State University


Acid Digestion and Electrowinning Processes Demonstrate Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Coal Fly Ash

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) and Rare Earth Salts (RES) worked together to advance the development and validation of BMI’s acid digestion process, along with RES’s novel electrowinning separation and purification process, which recovered a rare earth oxide product at a purity of approximately 90%.


Jason Hissam, Federal Project Manager, NETL
Rick Peterson, BMI


NETL Supported REE Extraction Project Exceeds Expectations

Researchers at the University of Utah and Virginia Tech successfully demonstrated several concepts - separation technologies to enrich pyrite for bio-oxidation; column leaching with bio-oxidation and extraction of REEs; concentration of REEs by solvent extraction; and iron removal along with REE recovery by precipitation - ultimately achieving production of 36.7% mixed REO concentrates from coal-based resources.


Anthony Zinn, Federal Project Manager, NETL
Michael Free, University of Utah


Research Triangle Institute Explores Nanofiltration REE Extraction Method

Supported by NETL, the Research Triangle Institute continues its work on rare earth element recovery and enrichment using novel recovery technologies as nanofiltration membranes to extract these valuable elements from acid mine drainage.


Omer Bakshi, Federal Project Manager, NETL
Dr. Zachary Hendren, Research Triangle Institute


New Rare Earth Element (REE) Extraction Tests Show Promise for Efficiency & Cost Saving

NETL-supported research at the West Virginia Research Corporation shows that nearly 100 percent of all REEs in coal-based acid mine drainage (AMD) can be recovered at high purity, and progress along the pathway to commercialization


Jessica Mullen, Federal Project Manager, NETL
Paul Ziemkiewicz, West Virginia University


The Power of Plasma: Extracting REES from Coal

Plasma technology integrated with traditional leaching and extraction processes was shown by the University of Kentucky and their subcontractor Virginia Tech to recover rare earth elements from coal samples. Moving forward, the challenge for NETL and its partners is refinement and discovering how to make this process economically attractive by industry.


Jason Hissam, Federal Project Manager, NETL
Dr. Rick Honaker, University of Kentucky Research Foundation


Concentrating Rare Earth Elements in Acid Mine Drainage Using Coal Combustion Products through Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation

Researchers from Ohio State University have demonstrated that a conceptual three-stage trap-extract-precipitate (TEP) process can successfully recover rare earth elements (REEs) from coal mine drainage (CMD). The team from Ohio State has been working closely with several key stakeholders in the region, including those from the public sector (Ohio Department of Natural Resources and City of Columbus), power generation industry (American Electric Power), and non-for-profit organizations (The Wilds).

Karol Schrems & Anthony Zinn, Federal Project Manager, NETL
Chin-Min Cheng, John Lenhart, Jeffrey Bielicki, Tarunjit Butalia,
Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering
The Ohio State University