Saturday, November 23, 2013

New Process Recycles Rare Earth Elements from Wastewater

This appears to be a neat trick in which the active molecule sweeps up the rare earths and surely plenty else besides.  Definitely add it to our quiver of tools for dealing with various wastewater streams.
It is also good to see manipulation working at this scaling level as well.  The payoff  is huge here.
All good stuff and nice to see the innovation.

New process recycles rare earth elements from wastewater
October 31, 2013

Rare earth elements are an integral part of many of today's electronic devices, serving as magnets, catalysts and superconductors. Unfortunately, these minerals are also ... well, rare, and thus very pricey. Recently, however, scientists discovered that some of them can be reclaimed from industrial wastewater, instead of being mined from the earth.

The researchers, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, already knew that a nanomaterial known as nano-magnesium hydroxide (nano-Mg(OH)2) could remove some metals and dyes from wastewater. It was also known that the rare earth elements in wastewater tend to be very diluted, and thus quite difficult to remove in a practical, inexpensive fashion.

After studying the manner in which nano-Mg(OH)2 works, the scientists proceeded to produce special flower-shaped nanoparticles of the material. In lab tests that replicated real-world conditions, these particles were able to capture over 85 percent of the rare earth elements diluted in water samples. By subsequently adjusting the pH, it was possible to then separate the captured minerals from the nano-Mg(OH)2.

“Recycling REEs from wastewater not only saves rare earth resources and protects the environment, but also brings considerable economic benefits,” the team stated in a paper on the research, which was recently published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces.


quisno son of the Republic said...

monatomics of every precious metal can be removed with a very active element which is very common in industry in water. the Ph will match the frequency needed to draw them from any water which has bee soaked in those metals

quisno son of the Republic said...

every monatomic precious metal can be brought into solution using water and one Compound used in industry. the magnesium Hydroxide will pull every monatomic into itsself and with the right freqency and ph be taken out of the solution.