Rare earth elements (REEs) are among the strategic materials that have revolutionized modern industry. These materials have unique properties, so they are essential to the production of many technologically advanced products that are dominating the world; thus the REEs demand is continuously rising. To address this challenge, finding new sources for them is highly of interest. Here, we identified a waste stream from phosphoric acid production plants, called phosphogypsum, which contains some amounts of REEs. We developed a novel hydrometallurgical process to recover REEs from phosphogypsum. We investigated several leaching agents at various conditions and identified the optimum leaching parameters. Not only can the developed process decrease the size and associated environmental risks with the existing phosphogypsum stacks, but also can slow down the need for additional stacks. In addition to waste valorization, this novel process provides a new source for REEs production, addressing the sustainability challenges associated with them.
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- Sustainable Processing of Phosphogypsum Waste Stream for the Recovery of Valuable Rare Earth Elements
Connie K. Nichol
- Springer International Publishing
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