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Unusual seeding mechanism for enhanced performance in solid-phase magnetic extraction of Rare Earth Elements
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Materials and Environmental Chemistry (MMK).
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Number of Authors: 5
2017 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, 43740Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Due to the increasing demand of Rare Earth Elements (REE or RE), new and more efficient techniques for their extraction are necessary, suitable for both mining and recycling processes. Current techniques such as solvent extraction or solid adsorbents entail drawbacks such as using big volumes of harmful solvents or limited capacity. Hybrid nanoadsorbents based on SiO2 and highly stable gamma-Fe2O3-SiO2 nanoparticles, proved recently to be very attractive for adsorption of REE, yet not being the absolute key to solve the problem. In the present work, we introduce a highly appealing new approach in which the nanoparticles, rather than behaving as adsorbent materials, perform as inducers of crystallization for the REE in the form of hydroxides, allowing their facile and practically total removal from solution. This induced crystallization is achieved by tuning the pH, offering an uptake efficiency more than 20 times higher than previously reported (up to 900 mg RE3+/g vs. 40 mg RE3+/g). The obtained phases were characterized by SEM-EDS, TEM, STEM and EFTEM and C-13 and Si-29 solid state NMR. Magnetic studies showed that the materials possessed enough magnetic properties to be easily removed by a magnet, opening ways for an efficient and industrially applicable separation technique.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 7, 43740
National Category
Chemical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-142681DOI: 10.1038/srep43740ISI: 000395649700001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-142681DiVA: diva2:1093955
Available from: 2017-05-08 Created: 2017-05-08 Last updated: 2017-05-08Bibliographically approved

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