News News
Contact us
  • Customer service number:64321087
  • Commercial service telephone:13918059423
  • Technical service telephone:13918059423
  • Contact person: Mr. Cui 
  • Service email:shxtb@163.com
  • Address: room 107, building 8, no. 100, guilin road, xuhui district, Shanghai

Rare-earth elements in mining industry's waste piles

The date of: 2018-11-28
viewed: 0

Souece:Phys.Org

If rare-earth metals can be extracted from previously quarried ore, the environmental hazards of new mines and mining waste can be mitigated. In his doctoral research, Wenzhong Zhang from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Helsinki developed a new material by which scandium, a rare-earth metal, can be extracted from the waste of the aluminium industry.

The amount of bauxite needed to manufacture one aluminium tin produces some 60 grams of a reddish, clay-like substance called red mud that manufacturers used to dump in the sea. Now, it is amassing as ever-growing heaps in producer countries including Greece, and there are over 3 billion tonnes of this waste product in the world today.

"The problem is that the minerals we want are hidden in the waste heaps in very small quantities, and we do not have efficient methods for extracting them," says Wenzhong Zhang.

In his research, Wenzhong Zhang focused on scandium, an interesting element due to its high cost; scandium mining may soon start in Finland at the Rautalammi deposit. The use of scandium in combination with aluminium will make it possible to manufacture more durable aeroplanes and bicycles with lighter structures.

Wenzhong Zhang is developing new, functional material to capture scandium cleanly, leaving the rest of the waste behind.

The work of a chemist is like building with blocks. Once the blocks are in place, a usable material is born with features that can be further developed by engineers. One day, the method will be deployable on an industrial scale. "At the moment, the aluminium industry does not put its focus on the metal extraction methods. It is more interested in looking for solutions that will make an end to the mountains of waste," says Wenzhong Zhang.

At the University of Helsinki, the Academy of Finland-funded USEMA project USEMA-project (Ultra-Selective Hybrid Materials for Separation of Group 3 and f-block Element) started by Risto Koivula is developing new materials on the basis of the research group's expertise in methods of inorganic chemistry and ion exchange.

"There are many areas of application, such as transforming waste flows to raw material and development of new processes to destroy radioactive waste, or manufacturing radio-medicine," says Koivula.


Hot News / Related to recommend
  • 2019 - 04 - 17
    Click on the number of times: 1
    Source:GlobeNewswireNew York, NY, April 16, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zion Market Research has published a new report...
  • 2019 - 04 - 15
    Click on the number of times: 0
    Source:CleanTechnicaThe term “rare earth element” has a specific meaning to scientists. Most people focus on the word “rare” and assume it means the 17 so-called rare earth elements are just that — ra...
  • 2019 - 04 - 12
    Click on the number of times: 1
    Source:Science DailyCompanies and governments worldwide are anxiously watching the fate of a sprawling industrial facility 30 kilometers north of this city on the east coast of peninsular Malaysi...
  • 2019 - 04 - 12
    Click on the number of times: 1
    Source:NewsDailyEditor's Note: At Stratfor, we use geopolitics to understand the constraints and advantages that geography co...
  • Copyright ©Copyright 2018 2020 Shanghai rare earth association All Rights Reserved Shanghai ICP NO.05017621
    the host:Shanghai Association of Rare Earth the guide:Shanghai Development and Application Office of Rare Earth the organizer:Shanghai rare earth industry promotion center
    犀牛云提供云计算服务