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The Electrolytic Production of Rare Earths from Their Oxides

  • James C. WithersEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the The Minerals, Metals & Materials Series book series (MMMS)

Abstract

There is no production of rare earth metals in the U.S. in spite that the U.S. is the largest consumer of rare earths in some form that includes consumer and Department of Defense (DoD) devices. The one U.S. mine has been purchased by the Chinese that even enhances their monopoly on rare earths. A research effort has demonstrated rare earth oxides can be extracted from bastnaesite ore as well as coal ash at efficiencies in the upper 90s percent. The rare earth oxide can be carbothermically treated to produce an oxycarbide which is highly electrically conductive. The rare earth oxycarbide can be used as an anode in anhydrous fused salts electrolysis to produce a highly purified rare earth powdered metal. It is also possible to electrofractionate the individual metals which can be combined with co-deposition of iron and boron to produce the highly magnetic alloy Nd2Fe14B.

Keywords

Rare earth Extraction Bastnaesite ore Coal ash Electrolysis Electrofractionate Froth flotation 

References

  1. 1.
    Topf, Andrew, “Mountain Pass sells for $20.5 million”, Mining.com, 16 June 2017, http://www.mining.com/mountain-pass-sells-20-5-million/
  2. 2.
    ATS-MER, LLC Improved Flotation Separation of Rare Earth Ore, Contract N00014-13-P-1010, Tucson, AZGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ATS-MER, LLCTucsonUSA

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