|About this Abstract
||2021 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition
||Rare Metal Extraction & Processing
||Understanding the feasibility for secondary and byproduct sources to supply rare earth metals
||Gabrielle Gaustad, Eric Williams, Alexandra Leader, Ajay Gupta, Saptarshi Das
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
Sustainability strategies like urban mining, industrial symbiosis, and the circular economy suggest avenues to realize new supplies of critical metals. We explore the resource and economic potential for extracting rare earth elements (REEs) from industry byproducts (e.g. coal combustion products, red mud) and secondary sources (e.g. waste electronics and light bulbs). Combining materials flow analysis and characterization data, we find that while total REE concentrations in waste and byproduct streams are mostly much lower than current REE ores, some sources are richer than ores in high value REEs (eg. scandium). The quantities of REEs in secondary sources could meet global demand even with low extraction yield rates. Considering quality and quantity of contained REEs, phosphogypsum, coal ash and red mud stand out as candidates. Processes to extract REEs from secondary sources are under development, it is not yet clear which will be profitable at scale and at least environmental impact.
||Recycling and Secondary Recovery, Sustainability, Extraction and Processing