Rare earth elements (REE) have applications in various modern technologies, e.g., semiconductors, mobile phones, magnets. They are categorized as critical raw materials due to their strategic importance in economies and high risks associated with their supply chain. Therefore, more sustainable practices for efficient extraction and recovery of REE from secondary sources are being developed.
This book, Environmental Technologies to Treat Rare Earth Elements Pollution: Principles and Engineering: presents the fundamentals of the (bio)geochemical cycles of rare earth elements and which imbalances in these cycles result in pollution.overviews physical, chemical and biological technologies for successful treatment of water, air, soils and sediments contaminated with different rare earth elements.explores the recovery of value-added products from waste streams laden with rare earth elements, including nanoparticles and quantum dots.
This book is suited for teaching and research purposes as well as professional reference for those working on rare earth elements. In addition, the information provided in this book is helpful to scientists, researchers and practitioners in related fields, such as those working on metal/metalloid microbe interaction and sustainable green approaches for resource recovery from wastes.
ISBN: 9781789062229 (Paperback)
ISBN: 9781789062236 (eBook)
ISBN: 9781789062243 (ePUB)
Rising prices in energy, raw materials, and shortages of critical raw materials (CRMs) for renewable energies or electric vehicles are jeopardizing the transition to a low-carbon economy. Therefore, managing scarce resources must be a priority for governments. To that end, appropriate indicators that can identify the criticality of raw materials and products is key. Thermodynamic rarity (TR) is an exergy-based indicator that measures the scarcity of elements in the earth’s crust and the energy intensity to extract and refine them. This paper uses TR to study 70 Mobile Phone (MP) Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) samples. Results show that an average MP PCB has a TR of 88 MJ per unit, indicating their intensive use of valuable materials. Every year the embedded TR increases by 36,250 GWh worldwide -similar to the electricity consumed by Denmark in 2019- due to annual production of MP. Pd, Ta and Au embedded in MP PCBs worldwide between 2007 and 2021 contribute to 90% of the overall TR, which account for 75, 600 and 250 tones, respectively, and increasing by 11% annually. This, coupled with the short lifespan of MP, makes PCBs an important potential source of secondary resources.
Polymetallic manganese nodules (PMN), cobalt-rich manganese crusts (CRC) and seafloor massive sulfides (SMS) have been identified as important resources of economically valuable metals and critical raw materials. The currently proposed mineral processing operations are based on metallurgical approaches applied for land resources. Thus far, significant endeavors have been carried out to describe the extraction of metals from PMN; however, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, it lacks a thorough review on recent developments in processing of CRC and SMS. This paper begins with an overview of each marine mineral. It is followed by a systematic review of common methods used for extraction of metals from marine mineral deposits. In this review, we update the information published so far in peer-reviewed and technical literature, and briefly provide the future perspectives for processing of marine mineral deposits.
In an effort to identify new sources of critical raw materials (CRMs) possibility of recovering selected CRMs from Polish coals, chars, and ashes resulting from the combustion of coals and chars was investigated. The samples were collected from pilot fluidized bed gasification systems. The search for CRMs in coal gasification wastes has not been widely reported before. The study used 2 bituminous coal and 1 lignite sample; the concentration of individual critical raw materials (CRMs) was analyzed using the ICP-MS method. The obtained results were compared with Clarke values in coal ash and in the Earth’s crust, and with the adopted cut-off grade. As shown by the analysis, the highest concentrations of CRMs can be found in fly ash, mainly in samples from the eastern part of the Upper Silesian Coal Basin. This applies mostly to Be, Cs, or Sb due to the fact that their concentrations were found to be higher than the Clarke value in the Earth’s crust; the mentioned fly ashes could be used as potential sources of critical elements if appropriate recovery technologies are developed. In addition, the tested materials have elevated Se, Pb, Ni concentrations, but their recovery is currently not economically viable. Compared to the currently adopted cut-off grade levels, there are no critical elements in the analyzed coal gasification waste that could be recovered.
The renewed importance of polymetallic nodules in the context of forecasted increasing demands for metals are discussed. Based on the Interoceanmetal Joint Organization’s (IOM) site-specific data obtained during the exploration activity in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone, a total of 272.5 Mt of nodules were estimated as economically reasonable for future mining for Ni, Cu, Co, and Mn. Additionally, data for REE and other critical elements in nodules as potential by-products are presented.
“Critical” minerals and raw materials are usually defined as those that present great economic importance and high risk of supply disruption. Their integral use (mining, reuse and recycling) opens a window of opportunity for resource-rich countries such as Argentina. Based on a bibliographic review, this work presents an overview of the potential of critical materials and public policies to promote their use under sustainability principles.
The results of historical explorations indicate that Argentina has geological-mining potential of critical minerals. However, new investments are required to value, standardize and digitize the available data. It is also necessary to rank these minerals in the public research agendas and encourage their exploration. The potentiality in secondary resources is difficult to estimate given the lack of data on the generation and recycling of industrial scrap, batteries and other discarded products.
In an international context of growing socio-environmental demands and persistent conflict, achieving a sustainable management of critical (and non-critical) minerals implies overcoming the “extractivist” model. For this, it is essential to transform the nature of the linkages between the mining sector, the scientific-technological system, the local productive network and the communities, as well as the ways of making strategic decisions about their use.