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EREAN is the FP7 Marie-Curie Initial Training Network Project that started on the 1st of September 2013. This European Rare Earth (Magnet) Recycling Network will train 15 young researchers in the science and technology of rare earths, with emphasis on the recycling of these elements from permanent magnets. An intensive intersectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration has been established in the EREAN consortium, which covers the full materials loop, from urban mine to magnet. By training the researchers in basic and applied rare-earth sciences, with emphasis on extraction and separation methods and rare-earth metallurgy, sustainable materials management, recycling methods, life cycle assessment (LCA), and the principles of urban mining, they will become the much needed "rare earthers" for employment in the growing European rare-earth industry.

LATEST BLOG POST

Military Applications of the REEs in the United States

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) uses rare earths in a number of military technologies and is dependent on their availability. […]

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) uses rare earths in a number of military technologies and is dependent on their availability. (1) China’s near monopoly in rare earths has the attention of American security experts, the DoD, and the U.S. Congress.The U.S. rare earths policy is the DoD policy. Since its adoption in 2011, there has been a significant improvement in rare earths markets. The existing policy, combined with natural markets forces, are working together to improve supply, demand, and market prices. U.S. lawmakers need to resist pressures to pass needless legislation that will only disrupt natural market forces, increasing the cost while decreasing long-term availability.(1)

Rare earth elements play an essential role in the US national defense. The army uses night-vision goggles, precision-guided weapons, communications equipment, GPS equipment, batteries, and other defense electronics. Technologies of this sort give the United States military an enormous advantage. Rare earth metals are key ingredients for making the very hard alloys used in armored vehicles and projectiles that disintegrate upon impact. (2)

Substitutes can be used for rare earth elements in some defense applications; however, those substitutes are usually not as effective and that diminishes military superiority. Several uses of rare earth elements are summarized in the following table. (2)

Table 1. Defense Uses of Rare Earth Elements

Defense Uses of Rare Earth Elements

Lanthanum night-vision goggles
Neodymium laser range-finders, guidance systems, communications
Europium fluorescents and phosphors in lamps and monitors
Erbium amplifiers in fiber-optic data transmission
Samarium permanent magnets that are stable at high temperatures
Samarium precision-guided weapons
Samarium “white noise” production in stealth technology

 

(1) LTC William R. Glaser : ”U.S. Rare Earths Policy: Digging Out of the Rare Earths Quandary ”  (luce.nt)

(2) http://geology.com/articles/rare-earth-elements/ (2017-02-14)

LATEST NEWS

KU Leuven: inside cover Chemical Communications

SIM² KU Leuven researchers Depuydt & Van den Bossche published a paper on “Metal extraction with a short-chain imidazolium nitrate ionic liquid”. The article was rewarded with an inside cover in Chemical Communications.

Daphne Depuydt and Arne Van den Bossche from the group of prof. Koen Binnemans recently published a Communication on “Metal extraction with a short-chain imidazolium nitrate ionic liquid”. As the article was well received by the reviewers and the editorial office of the Chemical Communications journal , it was rewarded with an inside cover. The idea behind the graphical artwork, designed by dr. Joris Roosen, comes from the story of the Old Testament, where Moses splits the sea to guide his people. The cover art shows NaNO3 splitting the sea, with rare earths travelling towards the ionic liquid sea and transition metals moving to the sea filled with water.

Under investigation in the work of Depuydt and Van den Bossche is the 1,3-dihexylimidazolium nitrate ionic liquid-water system which shows upper critical solution temperature (UCST) phase behavior. This means that above the critical temperature, the system becomes a fully homogeneous mixture. The concept of the thermomorphic ionic liquids is not new, yet a novel system with a simple, lowly viscous, short-chain imidazolium ionic liquid was developed. Normally, thermomorphic behavior is exploited in homogeneous liquid-liquid extraction studies. Yet, the addition of salts, in this case sodium nitrate (NaNO3), led to the disappearance of the temperature-dependent miscibility behavior. Instead, a fully biphasic system was found at all temperatures, leading to a hydrophobic ionic liquid system with only half the number of carbons than the usual hydrophobic ionic liquids used in metal extraction studies. The short-chain ionic liquid was used for the separation of rare earths from transition metals.

The article is open access and can be downloaded here. Full reference: Daphne Depuydt, Arne Van den Bossche, Wim Dehaen and Koen Binnemans, Metal extraction with a short-chain imidazolium nitrate ionic liquid, Chemical Communications, 53 (38), 2017, 5271-5274.

Inside Cover Chemical Communications

Capture°COVER

Donwload high resolution pdf cover ChemComm paper here

RARE EARTHS IN THE PRESS

NOLANS GRANTED MAJOR PROJECT STATUS

The Nolans rare earths project, in the Northern Territory, Australia, has been granted major project status by the Australian government, […]

Nolans arafura

The Nolans rare earths project, in the Northern Territory, Australia, has been granted major project status by the Australian government, providing the project with a tailored facilitation service to support a timely and efficient approvals process.

Owner Arafura Resources said that the major project status would assist with the coordination of all relevant Australian and Northern Territory government processes, so they could occur simultaneously and without delay.

Arafura is hoping to start production at Nolans in 2019, with production targeted at 20 000 t/y of rare earth oxide equivalent.

Arafura in June identified a number of improvements to the existing project structure, which are expected to deliver a more competitive and efficient project, with greater capacity to withstand cyclical downturns in rare earths prices.

These studies, targeting preferred phosphate-rich material types in the project’s resource, would deliver an optimal plant feed and throughput that resulted in an adjustment to planned yearly rare earths output to 14 000 t of total rare earth oxides over the more than 20-year operational life of the project.

Identified improvements also included planned yearly output of 110 000 t of a merchant-grade phosphoric acid product, which would be sold to the fertiliser industry.

Read more at Mining Weekly

Events

28-05-17 to 31-05-17 ERES 2017
28-05-17 to 31-05-17 EU FP7 MC ITN EREAN closing conference

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Blog

  • Military Applications of the REEs in the United States

    The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) uses rare earths in a number of military technologies and is dependent on their availability. […]

    ... read more
  • The magic of printable magnets

      This mysterious red thing was given to three engineers with the question: “Can you explain this?” They took it […]

    ... read more
  • Will permanent-magnet motors be replaced by induced motors without rare earth elements in the future?

    The alternative motor without rare-earth minerals was developed by Toyota Motor, If this motor can be produced in large amount, […]

    ... read more
  • Magnets in art (and design)

    Ever since magnetism was discovered thousands of years ago, people have been fascinated by it. And of course we are, […]

    ... read more
  • Research focused on rare earth elemants is HOT!

    Last month the 10th edition of the famous international conference of Molten slags, fluxes and salts took place in Seattle, […]

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Policy Brief

News

  • KU Leuven: inside cover Chemical Communications

    SIM² KU Leuven researchers Depuydt & Van den Bossche published a paper on “Metal extraction with a short-chain imidazolium nitrate ionic liquid”. The article was rewarded with an inside cover in Chemical Communications.

    ... read more
  • S. Riaño obtains her PhD on Nd and Dy recovery

    On May 12, 2017, Sofía Riaño obtained her PhD degree at KU Leuven in the framework of the MC-ITN EREAN project. Her PhD covers the “Recovery of Neodymium and Dysprosium from NdFeB Magnets using Ionic Liquid Technology”.

    ... read more
  • New Policy Brief on recycling of electric cars

    The EU Horizon 2020 projects EREAN and DEMETER have just published a new (joint) Policy Brief on the challenges with respect to the recycling of hybrid and electric vehicles ((H)EVs).

    ... read more
  • J. Roosen obtains PhD on critical metal recovery

    On May 8, 2017, Joris Roosen obtained his PhD degree at KU Leuven for his work on the recovery of critical metals from dilute aqueous waste streams by adsorption on functionalised biopolymers.

    ... read more
  • Summer school: Digitizing the Circular Economy

    Metallurgy is a key enabler of a circular economy. Its digitalization is the metallurgical Internet of Things. This the EIT summer school will illustrate some of these concepts with hands-on training (17-20/07 in Leuven).

    ... read more

Videos

Press

  • NOLANS GRANTED MAJOR PROJECT STATUS

    The Nolans rare earths project, in the Northern Territory, Australia, has been granted major project status by the Australian government, […]

    ... read more
  • ENGINEERS CREATE ROOM-TEMPERATURE MULTIFERROIC MATERIAL

    The magnetoelectric multiferroic. The double strand of purple represents the extra layer of iron oxide, which makes the material a […]

    ... read more
  • MAGNET MAKERS FIGHT FOR SUPREMACY IN THE COMING ELECTRIC-CAR ERA

    This motor, developed jointly by Honda Motor and Daido Electronics, incorporates magnets containing no rare earths. Honda Motor and Daido […]

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  • CHEMISTS DEVISE REVOLUTIONARY 3-D BONE-SCANNING TECHNIQUE

    Microscopy of Microdamaged Bovine Bone Structure. Source: Cell Chemists from Trinity College Dublin, in collaboration with RCSI, have devised a […]

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  • NIOCORP COMPLETES FIVE PILOT PLANT RUNS AS PART OF ITS FEASIBILITY STUDY

    NioCorp announced last September the successful conclusion of five metallurgical pilot plant runs that have tested the Company’s Scandium, Niobium, […]

    ... read more
 

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration under Grant Agreement No 607411