CMI Invention Disclosures

Success for the Critical Materials Institute will be defined by how well it meets its mission to assure supply chains of materials critical to clean energy technologies. To enable innovation in U.S. manufacturing and to enhance U.S. energy security, CMI must develop, demonstrate, and deploy clean energy technology. To direct research in a way to minimize the time to discovery and the time between discovery and deployment, the CMI team includes both research and industrial partners.

One measure of progress is invention disclosures, which highlight areas where research may lead to a patent and licensing of a technology or progress.  CMI researchers have created many invention disclosures and filed dozens of patent applications, with four dozen patents issued. These are marked in the cumulative list on this page, and also are listed on our patents page.

Per the executed CMI Intellectual Property Management Plan, CMI Team Members have the first right of refusal to CMI Award Intellectual Property. With the exception of exclusive licenses, the invention disclosures listed are CMI Award Intellectual Property that is available for licensing outside of the Team Members. CMI partners have executed various licenses for CMI research, with 20 technologies licensed. 

For CMI technology transfer, licensing or commercial inquiries, or if you would like information on how to become an affiliate or team member, please contact Stacy Joiner at the Ames Laboratory 515-294-5932 or

Technologies available for licensing can also be found online at the U.S. Department of Energy EERE Energy Innovation Portal. Ames Laboratory provides additional information on Technology Transfer.

This page is searchable, and you can link to other pages with CMI Technologies by these key words: 

  1. Extraction of Rare Earth Elements from Phosphoric Acid Streams
    link to licensing information
    This invention affords the quantitative extraction of rare earths present in phosphoric acid streams produced in phosphoric acid plants.
  2. Recovery of Neodymium from Neodymium Iron Boride Magnets
    This invention targets the recovery of neodymium from neodymium/iron/boron magnets.
  3. Membrane Solvent Extraction for Rare Earth Separations
    Patent issued March 2018 #9,968,887 link to pdf
    link to licensing information Licensed
    This invention is a membrane‐based dispersion‐free supported liquid membrane solvent extraction (MSX) for the separation, concentration and recovery of rare earth elements.
  4. Selective Composite Membranes for Lithium Extraction from Geothermal Brines
    Patent issued February 2022 #11,253,820 link to pdf
    This is a selective composite membrane for lithium extraction from geothermal brines that demonstrates high capacity and selectivity while operating under aggressive conditions.
  5. Methods of Separating Lithium-Chloride from Geothermal Brine Solutions
    Patent issued April 23, 2019, #10,266,915 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    This invention affords the quantitative extraction of rare earths present in phosphoric acid streams produced in phosphoric acid plants.
  6. Extraction of Rare Earths from Fly Ash
    link to licensing information
    This invention targets the extraction of rare earth elements from fly ash residues.
  7. Recovery of Dy-enriched Fe Alloy from Magnet Scrap Alloy via Selective Separation of Rare Earth Elements
    Patent issued August 2017 #9,725,788 link to pdf
    Processing technique that utilizes rare earth magnets scrap (discarded permanent magnets) containing different heavy and light rare earth elements (Nd, Pr and Dy) to recover a Dy‐enriched Fe‐based alloy.
  8. Aluminum nitride phosphors for fluorescent lighting
    Patent issued May 2016 #9,337,010 link to pdf
    A new high quantum efficiency phosphor based on Aluminum Nitride has been found to offer properties amenable to use in fluorescent lighting. Under certain conditions, aluminum nitride powder has been found to activate with a spectrum and light yield comparable to commercial orange-red phosphors, but without use of any rare-earth elements.
  9. Novel Surface Coatings to Improve the Functional Properties of Permanent Magnets
    The main goal of this invention is to functionally modify sintered magnet surfaces and minimize the need for Dy. Identifies a substitute based on a non-critical ternary alloy system that can be coated onto Neo magnet surfaces and improve their magnetic properties.
  10. Additive Manufacturing of Bonded Permanent Magnets using a Novel Polymer Matrix
    Utility patent filed | Licensed
    This invention disclosure reports a method of direct manufacturing of bonded magnets using a polymer extrusion based additive manufacturing and a new composition of matter.
  11. Ceria-based Catalyst for Selective Phenol Hydrogenation under Mild Reaction Conditions
    This invention provides a catalyst solution that provides good conversion and product selectivity for phenol hydrogenation to cyclohexanone in a one-step liquid-phase reaction at moderate conditions.
  12. Recycling and Conversion of Samarium Colbalt Magnet Waste into Useful Magnet
    Provides a more economical approach to recycling rare earth magnet swarfs of Samarium Cobalt through inexpensively cleaning the swarfs and directly reusing them as raw material for making useful magnets without the need for the expensive separation process.
  13. Catalysts for Styrene Production
    Catalyst allows operation at a lower reaction temperature and no steam consumption which provides an enhanced conversion of ethyl benzene and energy saving.
  14. Task Specific Ionic Liquids Extractive Metallurgy or Rare Earth Minerals
    Patent issued June 2020 #10,689,727 link to pdf
    Patent issued November 2021 #11,186,893 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    Extractive metallurgy invention dissolves rare earth element containing minerals important in the United States as well as metal oxides and metal carbonates. Direct contact between rare earth minerals of interest and the invented materials may be performed, resulting in an enrichment of the medium and heavy rare earth elements, thus allowing for an attractive pre-concentration process. In this metallurgical process, the primary constituents (La, Ce, Nd) may be effectively separated from minor constituents (Eu, Tb, Dy, Ho, Y).
  15. Separation of Neodymium from Praseodymium
    Process allows the enhanced separation of neodymium from praseodymium.  This invention has the potential to reduce the facility footprint by over 75 percent, consequently leading to significant savings.
  16. High Throughput Cost Effective Rare Earth Magnets Recycling System
    Patent issued May 2020 #10,643,776 link to pdf | Licensed
    link to licensing information
    Cost effective, five-step process to recycle rare earth (RE) magnets from computer hard drives (HDs) and potentially other consumer items such as electric motors, power tools, refrigeration compressors and electric generators.
  17. Recycle of Fe Nd B Machine Swarf and Magnets
    Patent application filed
    Recycling process for Fe Nd B machine swarf and magnets.
  18. Directly Printing Rare Earth Bonded Magnets
    This invention relates to rare earth magnets and more specifically to systems and methods for producing rare earth magnets from recycled feedstock. Novel magnet printing technology provides an added efficiency, enabling bonded magnet production with a production cost advantage over existing approaches.
  19. Procedure for Concentrating Rare-earth Elements in Neodynium Iron Boron-based Permanent Magnets for Efficient Recycling/Recovery
    link to licensing information
    Multi-step process for enriching rare earth materials from scrap neodymium iron boride (NdFeB) magnets using primarily mechanical and simple chemical steps. This method is more environmentally friendly compared to commonly used methods that involve dissolution of the metals in highly oxidative acids.
  20. Enhancing Consumer Product Recycling via Rapid Fastener Eradication
    The invention relates to electronic devices and more specifically to methods for automatic disassembly of such devices in order to recycle the individual components. The disclosure describes several approaches for removing conventional fasteners from electronic devices in an automated process and discloses several fastener designs that facilitate automated disassembly at end of service.
  21. Automated Printed Circuit Board Disassembly by Rapid Heating
    The invention relates to electronic devices and more specifically to methods for automatic disassembly of such devices in order to recycle the individual components. Electronic recycling is becoming increasingly important as many commercial products contain precious metals and other materials of interest. Described herein, is an effective methodology for rapidly separating integrated circuits from printed circuit boards, thus enabling simplified and cost effective recovery of precious metals.
  22. Electrochemistry Enabled Recovery of Value Metals from Electronics
    Patent issued March 2017 #9,777,346 link to pdf
    This invention presents chemistry that enables efficient recycling of metals from scrap mobile electronics. The electrorecycling process recovers metals from electronic materials using a novel process. The process generates oxidizing agents to dissolve metals from matrix and selectively recovers a metal product. Unique chemistry has been developed to enable this recovery. Flow sheets have been developed to process feedstocks to value products.
  23. Synthesis of High Surface Area Mesoporous Ceria
    This invention provides high surface area mesoporous ceria to be used as heterogeneous catalyst or heterogeneous catalyst support. The material is structurally stable up to 550°C for prolonged periods of time in air.  The synthetic method is facile needing only three agents.
  24. Self-Assembly of Low Surface Colloidal Nanoparticles into High Surface Area Networks
    This invention provides high surface area micro- and meso-porous materials to be used as heterogeneous catalysts and/or supports for heterogeneous catalysts. The materials are structurally stable at least up to 300°C for prolonged periods of time in the air.  The materials can be used at a catalytic support for metals.  Other applications may include use in three-way catalysts, fluid catalytic cracking, removal of volatile organic compounds, fuel cell technology, water-gas shift reaction, preferential CO oxidation, oxidative dehydrogenation, and selective hydrocarbon oxidations. The redox properties of these ceria-based materials can be tuned by incorporation of dopants or deposition of metals, which offer significant opportunities for modifying the activity of ceria-based catalysts and thus improve their performance.
  25. Selective Chemical Separation of Rare-Earth Oxalates (CSEREOX)
    Patent issued August 2021 #11,090,579 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    This invention provides a new selective chemical separation method of rare earth oxalates with following advantages:  
    1) Chemical separation of lanthanide oxalates within two groups: La-Sm (low-priced) and Gd-Lu (high-priced).  
    2) Simple and fast: (a) no special equipment or extreme synthetic conditions are required for the extractant preparation; (b) it is an ‘one step’ separation process which takes a few minutes.
    3) Environmental Aspects: (a) It is a water-based process (no mineral acids or organic 2nd phase required); (b) The best base candidate for an extractant system, 1-methylimidazole, is recognized by Sigma-Aldrich Company as a Greener Alternative Product, which adheres to one or more of the "12 Principles of Green Chemistry." 
    4) Cost effective: The required materials (oxalic acid and the respective base) as well as the whole process are cheaper compared to the state-of-art solvent extraction with organophosphorus compounds.
    5) The separation process represents a substantial improvement to known separation technology.
  26. Carbothermic Preparation of SmCox (x=5 to 8.5) Permanent Magnets Directly from Sm2O3
    This is a proposed direct conversion process which should replace the current two-step process used today to prepare permanent magnet material.
  27. A One Step Process for the Removal of Nickel/Nickel Copper Surface Coating from the Nd2Fe14B (neo) Permanent Magnets
    Patent issued June 2019 #10,323,300 link to pdf
    Rare Earth (RE) based permanent magnets may contain a coating material (usually nickel or an alloy of nickel and copper) that can detrimentally affect the magnetic properties of refabricated magnets. This invention describes a chemical process to isolate the coating material from the recycled magnets. The new invention has several advantageous features over those reported in the open literature.
  28. Engineering Caulobacter Surface Protein for Rare Earth Element Absorption
    Patent issued February 2019 #10,196,708 link to pdf
    Patent issued January 2022 #11,230,750 link to pdf
    This invention is a novel bioengineering strategy in Caulobacter crescentus to achieve a one-step separation of rare earth elements (REE) from other co-contaminated ions in solution, offering a viable approach with potential value for industrial applications. 
  29. Chemical Separation of Terbium Oxide (SEPTER)
    Patent issued July 2018 #10,029,920 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    This invention provides an exceptional separation method for terbium oxide with the following advantages:  
    1) Improvement and known separation and recycling technologies:  separation of terbium (III, IV) oxide using an aqueous solution of acetic acid.
    2) Time-effective:  unprecedented dissolution rate (total about 15 to 20 minutes).
    3) Environmentally-friendly process:  water-based, omits of auxiliary hazardous chemicals; no waste generation (obtained acetates can be calcinated like the currently used oxalates).
    4) Cost effective:  required materials (solution of acetic acid=”concentrated vinegar”) and whole process including microwave heating is cheaper compared to the solvent extraction.
    5) A purity of 99.5% can be reached for the separated terbium oxide.
  30. Novel Methods toward Selective Surface Modification of Nd2Fe14B Magnets to Achieve High Performance Permanent Magnets
    Patent issued March 2020 #10,586,640 link to pdf
    This invention disclosure reports a method of selectively applying Dysprosium (Dy) to improve the coercivity of Nd2Fe14B-based magnets. We have determined the corners of the magnet surface where the demagnetization fields are high through microscopic calculation of the demagnetization factors. Based on these results, we have selectively coated Dy onto Nd2Fe14B magnet surfaces and improved its energy product by optimized annealing conditions. The optimized process conditions can also be achieved by selective heating. With heating, the magnet can be selectively heated to allow the diffusion of Dy into the Nd2Fe14B matrix.
  31. Mesoporous Carbon and Methods of Use
    The invention is directed to mesoporous carbon and its methods of use.
  32. Castable High-Temperature Ce-Modified Al Alloys
    Patent issued May 2018 #9,963,770 link to pdf | Exclusive license issued
    The invention comprises castable Ce-modified Al alloys that have the ability to fill a vacant spot in the aluminum alloys family. The alloy maintains its mechanical properties to a higher temperature than currently available alloys and thus creates a high temperature aluminum alloy with mechanical characteristic improvements upwards of 30 percent over other Al alloys in similar high temperature applications. Cerium modification of aluminum alloys will serve to create an as of yet unseen opportunity for aluminum alloys to be utilized in high temperature applications; where before, such an application was limited to much denser and thus heavier alloys.
  33. High Command Fidelity Electromagnetically Driven Calorimeter (High-CoFi EleDriCal)
    Patent issued September 2020 #10,782,193 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    The invention related to materials and more specifically to an electromagnetically driven thermophysical property measurement device that is capable in running in differential scanning calorimetry mode and differential thermal analysis mode. This thermophysical property measurement tool has an inherently low thermal mass and high power density in comparison to traditional resistive heating element systems and is therefore capable of enhanced temperature control not achievable using other methods.
  34. 3D Printable Liquid Crystalline Elastomers with Tunable Shape Memory Behaviors and Bio-derived Renditions
    Patent issued September 2019 #10,407,535 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    The invention describes a method to prepare a smetic main-chain liquid crystalline epoxy elastomer. Microstructures of the material including liquid crystallinity and crosslinking network were modified by adjusting the stoichiometric ratio of the reactants to tailor thermomechnical properties and shape memory behaviors. This invention includes a new class of materials based on epoxy and elastomer composites and processing solutions that will enable additive manufacturing of materials with enhanced cross-layer bonding and functionality such as shape shifting structures. Additive manufacturing of mechanically robust polymer composites requires localized heating and large thermal gradients that cause many conventional materials designed for polymer additive manufacturing to fail due to large macroscopic distortions. This problem is compounded by low adhesion between deposition layers. Our invention provides a specific solution that is centered on controlling the evolution of crystalline domains using directional electromagnetic fields and strong covalent bonding across layers. Materials with low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) can be obtained from liquid crystalline precursors. The zero-CTE epoxy composite and a shape shifting liquid crystalline elastomeric composite disclosed here is compatible with additive manufacturing. The economic viability can be maintained by making use of low cost biopolymers (lignin) both as integral component and/or cross-linking agent. We will pursue a two-phase approach:
    1. Conversion of a commercial epoxy into stable pellets for room temperature extrusion. Electromagnetic processing will provide the targeted deposition of power and thermal energy to control polymer morphology resulting in a benchmark zero-CTE epoxy resin.
    2. Incorporation of lignin as a rigid crosslinker and compounding with other reinforcing agents such as glass fibers, to lower cost and to improve the strength and durability of the material.
  35. The Separation of Ancylite by Way of Magnetic Separation and Froth Flotation
    Patent application filed
    Ancylite, a rare earth strontium carbonate, is a potentially commercial rare earth mineral. In this research its properties were investigated to develop a proper procedure to efficiently separate rare earth minerals from their gangue minerals. Fundamental understanding of the flotation chemistry for ancylite, calcite and strontianite has delineated the strategy of flotation chemistry for the material. Magnetic separation combined with flotation was employed to beneficiate ancylite, and a preliminary evaluation was conducted as well. The practical result shows the promising potential in the separation of ancylite by way of magnetic separation and froth flotation.
  36. Recovering Rare Earth Metals using Bismuth Extractant
    Patent issued June 2019 #10,323,299 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    This invention involves a liquid metal extraction technique for treating rare earth metal-bearing permanent magnet scrap, waste, and other material to recover at least one of the light rare earth metal(s) and the heavy rare earth metal(s) for reuse in the manufacture of permanent magnets. It can be used to treat a wide variety of binary, ternary, and other rare earth-transition metal alloy compositions. This method can be practiced to recover the light rare earth metal content and the heavy rare earth metal content concurrently in a one-step process or separately and sequentially in a two-step process. Unlike other processes, this method extracts both the light and heavy rare earth metals in a single extraction step. Specifically, the heavy rare earths can be extracted very effectively using this method, which is not feasibly using other liquid metal techniques.
  37. Structural Optimization of Complex Materials using High-throughput Hierarchical Decomposition Methods
    A method for rapidly optimizing the structure of complex materials such as carbon from lignin is disclosed. This tool is used to efficiently extract structural data that is obscure and typically requires computationally intensive methods such as molecular dynamics (MD) simulations conducted on supercomputers. This data from scattering measurements are analyzed to obtain the radial distribution function; a function that conveys information about the structure of the material under observation. This function, and other related functions such as the structural function S(Q), assist computational scientists in predicting the atomic structure of materials via the use of MD simulations, which require several complex iterations, hence the need for high performance computing resource. Apart from the energy and cost required, the predictions are not unique in the sense that there might be other structural forms that will match the radial distribution function obtained from scattering data. These challenges in obtaining the visual image of the materials' structure via MD simulations are the motivation behind this present disclosure.
  38. Novel 3D Printing Method to Fabricate Bonded Magnets of Complex Shape
    Patent issued February 2023 #11,590,717 link to pdflink to licensing information
    Successfully developed a 3D-printable epoxy-based ink for the direct-write additive manufacturing of bonded magnets. Also, demonstrated the preferential alignment of magnetic particles to improve the control over the properties of the printed object.
  39. Rare Earth Free High Performance Doped Magnet
    High performance permanent magnets are currently used in a variety of clean energy applications, including hybrid and battery-powered electric motor vehicles and wind turbines. To be a high performance permanent magnet, a magnetic material requires three intrinsic properties: high ferromagnetic saturation magnetization, a Curie temperature significantly above room temperature, and substantial magnetic anisotropy, defined as the material's intrinsic resistance to re-orientation of the magnetic moments from a preferred orientation. Such resistance to magnetization re-orientation (also known as demagnetization) is a critical property of the magnet used, for example, in traction drive motors of hybrid electric vehicles. The invention provides a high performance magnetic material which attains the desired properties of high magnetization and magnetic anisotropy without the usage of rare earth elements.
  40. Acid-free Dissolution and Separation of Rare-earth Metals
    Patent issued May 2020 #10,648,063 link to pdf | exclusive license issued
    This invention is a simple, in-expensive and environmentally friendly chemical dissolution method for recycling NdFeB magnets.  This invention has the following advantages:  
    1) Novelty and Purity of the separated lanthanide oxides achieved ~99%.  This purity can be further improved if the materials are subjected to a second separation cycle.
    2) Time efficient: This direct dissolution process requires less time than the current state-of-the-art process.
    3) Environmentally-friendly:  This process limits the need for acids.
    4) Cost effective:  This invention requires and inexpensive salt solution.  The separation process is simple and requires no complex systems or equipment.  It can be easily incorporated into existing manufacturing or separation processes.
  41. Materials designed for Structural Direct Write Additive Manufacturing of Molten Metals
    Patent issued December 2022 #11,590,717 link to pdflink to licensing information
    This invention is specific to the alloy system and methods of controlling the melt rheology of metallic alloys for direct write additive manufacturing.
  42. A Process for the Recovery of Mercury and Rare Earth Elements from Used Fluorescent Lamps
    Patent issued January 2020 #10,533,239 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    The invention teaches an integrated process to safely separate and remove mercury and rare earth elements from fluorescent light bulbs.  The process does not rely on heating or volatilizing the mercury.  Each step in the process is fully integrated into a single, continuous process that can be run either in batch, semi-batch, or continuous-flow mode for the recovery of mercury and rare earths from fluorescent light bulbs.
  43. High Performance Magnets with Abundant Rare Earth Elements
    Patent application filed | link to licensing information
    This invention discloses a new alloy system with promising permanent magnet properties, one which contains none of the expensive rare earth elements (Nd, Dy, Sm) found in current high performance magnets. 
  44. Multifunctional Liquid Crystalline Networks
    Patent issued April 2019 #10,253,261 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    This invention describes a unique way of preparing liquid crystalline elastomers (LCE’s) with different liquid crystallinity, crosslink density, and network rigidity. The new method of preparation leads to tunable thermal transition temperatures and thermomechanical properties. These characteristics make the LCE compositions particularly well-suited for use in additive manufacturing processes and shape memory applications. 
  45. Aluminum-RE alloys for Electrical Power Transmission Applications
    CMI researchers have developed a series of Aluminum/Light-Rare-Earth (LRE = Ce, La, Sm or Mischmetal) alloys, that exhibit very low electrical resistivity, high tensile strength and tensile elongation, increased thermal stability ( > 150 °C) and exceptional environmental stability (e.g., corrosion resistance). These alloys can be cast using conventional bulk processing techniques (for example, via sand molding) and thermo-mechanically processed into different guages of wire. Deformation processing increases the tensile strength of the alloys without producing any significant increase in electrical resistivity.
  46. Method for Manufacturing of Samarium Cobalt and Neodymium Iron Boride Magnets
    Patent issued August 2023 #11,715,592 link to pdf

    A method for manufacturing high coercivity samarium cobalt and neodymium iron boride magnets that is compatible with additive manufacturing and requires no polymer binder. Samarium cobalt oxide and neodymium iron boride particles are the feedstock for the magnet, which can be deposited into near-net shape parts using additive manufacturing techniques such as electrophoretic deposition (EPD). The innovative part of the process is the critical conversion of these oxide nanoparticles which have been deposited into near net-shape parts directly to permanent magnets using calcium vapor during annealing.
  47. Additive Printing of Bonded Magnets using Magnet Powders and a Polymer Composition
    Patent application filed | Licensed | link to licensing information
    This invention describes methods of three-dimensional printing of an object. Methods of three-dimensional printing an object can include forming an object using a coreactive printing composition that is produced from a mixture of at least two coreactive components having coreactive functional groups wherein at least one of the coreactive components comprises a saturated functional group along with hard or soft magnetic powders. Also included within the scope of the present disclosure is a printed three-dimensional object formed from layers of a coreactive printing composition produced from at least two coreactive components along with hard or soft magnetic powders. We have successfully fabricated bonded magnets with magnet powders in a polymer composition.
  48. Eutectic Alloy Compositions to Improve the Coercivity and Density of Binder Jet Printed Bonded Magnets
    Bonded magnets have experienced a rapid increased usage in automobiles owing to their superior advantages such as complex shape, light weight, cost effective, etc. In this invention, a binder jetting Additive Manufacturing technique is employed to fabricate bonded magnets, followed by a process with eutectic alloys in an attempt to enhance the mechanical and magnetic strength of the magnet product.
  49. Separation of Rare Earth Elements Recovered from Scrap Permanent Magnets
    Patent issued April 2022 #11,293,078 link to pdf
    This invention would make possible the separation, recovery and reuse of highly valuable rare earth elements such as neodymium and dysprosium.  
  50. Surface-Hardened Al-Ce Alloys and Methods of Making the Same
    Patent issued March 2020 #10,584,403 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    Aluminum-cerium alloys that can be surface treated are important for certain applications where wear resistance is important. Through novel surface refining techniques it is possible to create a very hard surface morphology while maintaining a ductile bulk system. In addition, the surface morphology is stable during long term high-temperature exposure; an important property for materials which will be exposed to high wear scenarios. This invention includes surface-hardened aluminum-cerium alloys and methods of making the same.
  51. Big Area Additive Manufacturing of High Performance Bonded Magnets
    Patent filed | link to licensing information
    Developed a method to print bonded magnets.
  52. Production of Indium Concentrate from Waste LCD Screens
    Provisional Patent Application Filed | link to licensing information
    This invention is a method to recover and liberate indium from flat panel displays.
  53. Al-Ce Alloy for Additive Manufacturing
    Patent issued September 2020 #10,760,148 link to pdf
    Patent issued November 2022 #11,491,546 link to pdf
    link to licensing information
    This invention comprises a range of Al-Ce alloys for use in laser additive manufacturing. Additive manufacturing processes produce fine alloy microstructures due to the characteristic high cooling rates. These fine structures improve mechanical properties relative to cast structure. In other Al alloy systems however, these structures are inherently unstable. Al-Ce alloys on the other hand show good thermal stability and an ability to retain these fine structures during long periods of time at elevated temperatures, such as though experienced during additive manufacturing due to the layer-by-layer nature of the process. Furthermore, the alloys are designed specifically for additive manufacturing in order to enable local microstructure selection via the manipulation of process parameters allowing for the tailoring of properties at specific locations within a component.
  54. Phosphor for LED Applications
    Patent application filed | link to licensing information
    This rare-earth-free red phosphor offers an environmentally friendly and low cost alternative to LED red phosphors. Due to the physical properties of the glass, it can also be used as an encapsulant and/or lens in an LED. This invention could allow for improvements in LEDs by replacing current encapsulant and lens materials while simultaneously providing a source of red emission.
  55. Stabilization of Magnetic Soft Phase in a Hard Magnetic Matrix
    To develop a super-strong magnet with high energy density (energy product) is essential for reducing volume of magnets and electronic devices for highly efficiently energy conversions. This super-strong magnet needs to have a large magnetic coercively and remnant magnetization, giving the optimum energy product, (BH)max. Conventional hard magnets, especially those based on SmCo alloys, have very high coercivity, but modest magnetization values. This innovation increases magnetic remanence without sacrificing the coercivity; the hard magnet should be coupled with a soft magnetic soft phase with high remnant magnetization.
  56. Die-Cast Aluminum-Cerium Alloy
    Patent application filed | link to licensing information
    The purpose-formulated alloy includes a REE coproduct that is co-located with critical materials in domestic REE mines. Increased demand for the coproduct would improve profitability of REE mining and processing operations. Additionally, compared to existing technologies, use of the alloy may result in significant cost, energy, and emissions reductions by eliminating or reducing required post-casting processing. The alloy may also have increased heat tolerance and corrosion resistance when compared to current technologies. The alloy includes REE coproducts combined with traditional aluminum alloying elements to improve mechanical properties of die-cast parts.
  57. Developing Bulk Exchange Spring Magnets
    Patent issued June 2017 #9,691,545 link to pdf
    The challenge in producing high performing superior exchange spring magnets (ESMs) has been the inability to precisely control the spacing of the particles and the coupling between them. Electrophoretic deposition (EPD), which utilizes the induced surface charge (that) particles exhibit when placed in both aqueous and organic liquids, is used to control the motion of the particles in suspension in the presence of electric fields. As such, EPD permits the precise control of particles needed to manufacture superior ESMs with energy products approaching the theoretical maximum.
  58. Method to Provide Rapid Charging Capability for Electric Vehicles
    This invention adds a capability for accumulating short charging bursts that can add significant stored energy to the vehicle. Specifically the invention permits interaction of wireless (inductive) stations to add significant charge to the on-board energy storage, which can extend the driving time between regularly scheduled (overnight charges).
  59. Method for Synthesizing Magnet Alloys via Thermal Spray using Recycled Materials
    A method to synthesizing new alloys for permanent magnet applications via thermal spray that utilized recycled rare earth containing scrap material, grinding and machining swarfs generated during the processing of permanent magnets. The scrap material is used as feedstock in the thermal spray process to deposit thin magnet alloys on substrates. The deposition can be done either with active heating or cooling and/or with an applied magnetic field. Following deposition, the microstructure and magnetic properties can be tailored with appropriate thermo-magnetic processing.
  60. Cerium, Cobalt and Copper Alloy doped with Tantalum and/or Iron as a Permanent Magnet Material
    Patent issued May 2023 #11,649,537 link to pdf
    A series of 1:5-type cerium, cobalt and copper alloys doped with Iron and Ta which retain or/and improve magnetic characteristics of typical 1 :5-type isotropic permanent magnets and represent a more economical and more favorable alternative to Sm-based magnets with respect to both material and processing costs. The purpose of this invention is to develop a "GAP MAGNET" that utilizes widely available and inexpensive Ce, which is a more affordable alternative to critical rare-earths, which makes the magnet significantly cheaper and less supply dependent, and yet successfully performs within the niche of energy products that exists between present-day low-flux and high-flux magnets.
  61. Ionic Rare Earth Organometallic (Organolanthanide) Complexes with Emission in the Visible Spectral Range and their uses in Light Emitting Electroluminescent Devices
    The invention describes new Ionic rare earth organometallic complexes that each perform both the functions of a host matrix and an emitting guest when used in electroluminescent devices. The organic fragment is responsible for charge transport (referred to as a host matrix) and the lanthanide center is responsible for light emission (referred to as light emitting guest). The ionic rare earth organometallic complexes described in this invention for use in the emissive layer as emitter in light emitting electroluminescent devices such as light emitting electrochemical cells (LECs) and organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs).
  62. Cerium - Cerium-rich – Rare Earth, Cobalt and Magnesium Alloy doped with Iron as a Permanent Magnet Material
    Patent application filed
    A series of 1:3-type cerium, cerium-rich rare earth cobalt and magnesium alloys doped with iron that retain and/or improve magnetic characteristics of typical commercial high-flux isotropic permanent magnets and represent economically more favorable alternative to rare-earth-based magnets with respect to both material and processing costs. The purpose of this invention is to develop a Co-lean “GAP MAGNET” that also utilizes widely available and inexpensive Ce as a more affordable alternative to critical rare-earths, making the magnet significantly cheaper and less supply dependent.
  63. An Integrated Process for Supercritical Fluid Extraction and Separation of Lead from Leaded Glass
    This invention describes an integrated process for comminution of leaded glass, extraction of lead from the glass and recycle/recovery of lead and process chemistry.
  64. Application of Hydrogen Desorption Disproportionation Recombination (HDDR) Process to Recycle Spent Metal Hydride Electrodes
    This invention describes a potential pathway for processing spent metal hydride electrodes in a cost-effective manner.
  65. Rare Earth, Thorium, and Uranium Extraction/Separation
    This invention pertains to a solvent extraction system that extracts rare earth elements. The organic system successfully extracts rare earth elements, and the metal loaded organic system can be completely stripped. When applied to systems containing thorium and uranium as well as rare earth elements, the system can be tuned for selective extraction of the rare earth elements over thorium and uranium.
  66. Highly Dense Isotropic Bonded Magnets via Additive Manufacturing
    This invention teaches a couple of major advances. First, isotropic bonded magnets with a high loading fraction are fabricated via additive manufacturing, or 3D printing system that enables rapid production of large parts. The second approach where the as-printed magnets are then coated with polymers, improves the thermal stability at 127 degrees Ce as revealed by flux aging loss measurements. Tensile tests performed at 25 degrees C and 100 degrees C show that the ultimate tensile stress (UTS) increases with increasing loading fraction of the magnet powder, and decreases with increasing temperature.
  67. An Electrowinning Process for Recovering High Purity Rare Earth Metals from Room Temperature Ionic Liquids
    Patent issued October 2021 #11,149,356 link to pdf
    The invention describes a process for electrowinning rare earth metals by augmenting a room temperature ionic liquid with a secondary, tertiary, quaternary, etc. component (gas, liquid, salt, or supercritical fluid).
  68. Fe2NiCo Layered Superstructure as a High-Energy-Product Permanent Magnet Material
    A Fe2NiCo layered superstructure is proposed as a promising candidate for high-performance rare-earth-free permanent magnets. 
  69. Recovery of High Purity Samarium and Cobalt from Magnetic Materials
    This invention is a novel hydrometallurgical process that rivals the existing state-of-the-art in terms of purity of recovered samarium and cobalt. It has been successfully demonstrated in the laboratory and has shown profitable techno-economic analysis. The process is water-based and requires chemicals and components that can easily be integrated into existing plants or low-CAPEX new facilities. The new technology will enable the recovery of samarium and cobalt from waste-stream materials, especially permanent magnets, and it provides an avenue for sustaining the national supply of the important materials for a wide range of high-tech applications.
  70. High-performance Al-Ce Alloys Synthesized via Consolidation of Powder/particulate Precursors
    This invention comprises a range of Al-Ce alloys that have been consolidated by different techniques using powders or particulates as the precursor material. The combination of good processability combined with excellent mechanical properties without the need for post heat treatments makes these Al-Ce alloys consolidated from powder/particulate precursors ideal for numerous engineering applications.
  71. Feedstock and Heterogeneous Structure for Tough Rare Earth Permanent Magnets and Production Process Thereof
    Patent application filed
    The present invention is a developed feedstock and heterogeneous structure for rare earth permanent magnets (REPMs) and their production methods. More particularly, the invention relates to feedstock and heterogeneous structure for REPMs with significantly enhanced flexural strength or fracture toughness while maintaining, or with a minimum sacrifice, in the hard magnetic properties. The novel tough REPMs have heterogeneous structures, such as bi-modal, tri-modal, multimodal or gradient grained structures, or other microstructural heterogeneity. This invention would not only improve the magnet manufacturing efficiency and machinability, reduce part failure rate, and effectively use of expensive critical materials, but it would also greatly expand the market for this class of permanent magnets, by offering opportunities for new applications, new shapes, and lower costs. Tougher REPMs could also make it possible for production of bulky magnets with even higher magnetic performance and larger dimensions via optimization of alloy composition and heat treatment process.
  72. Selective Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from As-Shredded HDDs without Pre-sorting of Components
    The utility of this process is that as-shredded magnet containing electronic devices such as HDDs do not need presorting demagnetization or screening for valuable rare earth elements to be recovered. As a result, the process eliminates the preprocessing steps and directly recovers REEs from as-shredded devices via a highly selective hydrometallurgical approach.  The process involves an acid-free selective dissolution of the magnet component and subsequent recovering of the REE oxides (REO). This is an efficient and green technology for recovering high purity rare earth elements from as-shredded magnet-containing electronic devices without the associated risks of acids and acid-contaminated wastes. The critical components of this technology include:
    1) A highly selective acid-free dissolution process;
    2) Recovery of REEs from as-shredded devices without pre-sorting, up-concentration, demagnetization, grinding or screening;
    3) Liberation of other components of the devices including plastics, Ni, Cr, Zn, Cu, mother-board materials, etc.;
    4) >99.9% pure REO were recovered while eliminating acid-containment and toxic wastes generation; and
    5) Can be extended to REEs recovery in diluted ferrous metal streams.
  73. Surface Mount Permanent Magnet Attachment for Electric Machine
    Patent application filed
    This invention disclosure relates to permanent magnet configurations for rotors of electric machines. This disclosure describes methods of securing permanent magnets via one or more mechanical interface connections between the permanent magnet and the rotor core elements.
  74. Internal Mount Permanent Magnet Attachment for Electric Machine
    Patent application filed
    Permanent magnet configurations for rotors of electric machines that can optimize air flow, power density, and operating currents. In some embodiments, the mechanical interface
    connection is a dovetail connection in which the permanent magnet includes a dovetail shape at an inner radial surface of the permanent magnet, while the rotor core includes a complimentary reverse dovetail shape at the radial outer surface of the rotor core.
  75. Method for Synthesizing High Performance Mg Alloys
    A method to synthesize high performance Mg-based alloys (e.g., excellent elevated temperature mechanical behavior) using recycled rare earth extracted from scrap material. The method provides a low-cost method to control the structure and properties of Mg-based alloys through the addition of certain elements.
  76. Method of Creating a Magnet
    Patent application filed
    Improved ways of stabilizing particles to create a magnet. Relates to a reliable chemical process of stabilizing Fe nanoparticles in high temperature annealing conditions for the preparation of exchange-coupled SmCo5-Fe nanocomposites.
  77. Integranular Corrosion Reduction in Al Alloys
    Patent application filed
    Impact of additions on integranular corrosion of Al alloys, most especially those containing Cu. The addition is pushed during solidification of these alloys, disrupting mechanisms that causes integranular corrosion. This invention has significant implications for the development of high strength Al alloys that are used in corrosive and aqueous environments.
  78. Surface Chemistry and Novel Collectors and their Application to Rare Earth Minerals
    Patent application filed
    This invention is the successful development and application of novel collectors for rare earth mineral flotation.  Novel collectors enhance TREO recovery, grade and gangue rejection in flotation. Also, much of the testing was performed at ambient temperature and without the use of depressants, which is an advantage over existing industrial rare earth flotation systems.
  79. Systems and Methods for Fluoride Ceramic Phosphors for LED Lighting
    Patent application filed
    Consolidated phosphor ceramics that convert blue Light Emitting Diode (LED) light into a tunable white light spectrum can be produced using transparent or translucent polycrystalline ceramic fluorides, one exemplar being a highly efficient narrow band red phosphor. Phosphor ceramics offer improved environmental stability and thermal conductivity, compared to powdered phosphors. The ceramic phosphor can therefore be used with higher blue light pump flux, since heat generated may be efficiently conducted away, minimizing thermal quenching at high power. In addition, the transparency of the ceramic provides for a longer excitation pathlength in the phosphor, allowing doping level to be reduced, mitigating concentration quenching and improving thermal stability of luminescence, known to be exacerbated at high dopant concentrations.
  80. One Step Synthesis Process for the Preparation of Samarium-Cobalt Alloy Powder and Nickel-Cobalt Alloy Powder
    Patent application filed
    An new manufacturing process to prepare samarium-cobalt and nickel-cobalt alloy powders for a variety of purposes. The processes uses the electrochemical co-reduction of mixed oxides in a molten salt electrolytic bath. The alloy powder, after removal of the adherent salt, can be directly used for the fabrication of magnets into desired shapes. The actual experimental process involves (i) soaking the mixed oxides in molten calcium chloride salt and (ii) initiating the subsequent reduction of the oxide(s) by applying a suitable potential.
  81. Precipitation of Rare Earth Carbonates using Monoethanolamine
    Patent application filed
    A new means of precipitating rare earth carbonates from aqueous solutions at industrially relevant concentrations. The process utilizes aqueous solutions of monoethanolamine fully loaded with carbon dioxide to deplete aqueous rare earth salt solutions with greater than 99 percent yield; the remaining filtrate contains monoethanolamine – hydrogen chloride and is easily separated from the precipitate.
  82. Electrowinning of Rare Earth Elements from a Chloride-Oxide Melt
    Patent application filed
    A practical approach to make the electrowinning of rare earth oxides from the chloride molten chloride based salts a technical feasibility.
  83. Methods and Processes for Converting a Non-Magnet to a Soft Magnet
    A one-step chemical process was developed to transform an oxidized and non-magnetic material to a soft magnetic powder. The developed process is essentially a molten salt electrochemical refinement method where the non-magnetic material could be stripped of its excess oxygen content. Removal of excess oxygen form the oxidized magnet could restore back its magnetic behavior, prior to the oxidation. The invented process selectively removes the only the deleterious impurity element (oxygen) without significantly altering the chemical composition of the non-magnetic material.
  84. Al-Light Rare Earth Coatings for Oxidation and Corrosion Resistance
    Patent application filed
    This invention comprises the use of Light Rare Earth (LRE = Ce, La, mischmetal) elements to modify commercial Al alloys (e.g., Cu containing) for enhanced corrosion resistance. It also includes produce monolithic Al-LRE-based alloys for use as protective coatings to inhibit corrosion of underlying substrate. This technology has the potential to greatly improve the corrosion resistance of exiting Al alloys, but also improve the economics of Al recycling by enabling higher tolerances to alloying additions that would normally be detrimental to corrosion.
  85. Al-Ce-Based Metal-Matrix Composites
    We have developed a series of aluminum-light rare earth-based metal-matrix-composites (MMCs) that can be processed by multiple techniques including casting (e.g., sand or die), additive manufacturing (e.g., laser powder bed) or thermomechanical consolidation (e.g., extrusion, hipping and forging). The composites use Ce, La, Sm or Mischmetal, and exhibit a strong and ductile matrix phase consisting of multiple phases, along with other possible metastable phases. 
  86. Reduced Critical Rare Earth High Temperature Magnet
    The invention substantially reduces expensive, critical rare earth content in high performance magnets while maintaining room temperature magnetic properties. It increases Curie point substantially relative to the Nd2Fe14B material and may therefore offer better high temperature performance than Nd2Fe14B and SmCo5 at a lower cost with more commonly available elements less subject to geopolitical supply risk.  The material also affords the possibility, unlike Nd2Fe14B and SmCo5, for "tuning" of properties for the desired application.
  87. Neutral Ligand Room Temperature Ionic Liquid System for Electrodeposition of Rare Earth Elements
    Patent application filed
    Using a common industrial organic solvent, it is possible to synthesize neutral ligand room temperature ionic liquids (RTILs) for rare earth elements.  These RTILs have excellent electrochemical properties and can be used to successfully deposit rare earth metals.
  88. An Improved Energy-Harvesting Thermomagnetic Generation Device
    The technology minimizes cycle time and maximizes utilization of active materials and power output, while also harvesting kinetic energy from process water and fluids. The technology is likely to be economical and broadly applicable to many waste heat sources in the United States, including coal, natural gas, and photovoltaic energy generation.
  89. SmCo5-based Compounds Doped with Fe and Ni for High-Performance Permanent Magnets
    Patent application filed
    The innovation is based on SmCo5 (in the hexagonal CaCu5-type structure) with three non-equivalent atomic sites: Sm1-(1a), Co1-(2c), Co2-(3g) with 6 atoms per formula unit. More generally, the invention comprises specific distribution of Co, Fe, and Ni atoms in transition metal (TM) 2c and 3g nonequivalent atomic sites.
  90. Production of Permanent Magnets Using Electrophoretic Deposition
    Patent issued August 2023 #11,735,359 link to pdf
    Electrophoretic deposition (EPD) is used to additively manufacture permanent magnets. They can be of various compositions such as those based on Nd2Fe14B, SmCo5, Sm2Co17, and ferrites.  The magnets may be functionally graded, for example the Nd2Fe14B system may have layers of Dy rich Dy-Fe-B or DyF3 selectively deposited on the magnet in areas where large demagnetizing fields will be applied.  An externally applied magnetic field may be applied to anisotropic particles in the deposition chamber so that the particles are aligned as they are deposited. The magnetic field may be applied either parallel or perpendicular to the electric field, depending on the desired magnet orientation.
  91. High Performance Al-Ce Alloys Synthesized via Consolidation of Powder/Particulate
    Patent application filed
    This invention comprises a range of Al-Ce alloys that have been consolidated. The cooling rate of the synthesis techniques yields a fine microstructure in the powder or particulate, which can be readily retained during consolidation due to the exceptional thermal stability of the alloys. The consolidation techniques utilize varying amounts of thermal and/or mechanical energy to produce highly dense structures with second-phase particles distributed within an Aluminum-rich matrix.
  92. Low Temperature Electrofining of Rare Earth Element Mixtures
    This technology is for a low temperature (<100°C) electrorefining process for rare earth elements (REEs), via reduction into molten metal, from either recycled or mined REE mixtures. For recycled magnets, a mixture of Pr, Nd, Dy are obtained and the project would specifically target the challenging Pr-Nd separation. For mining applications there are numerous possible applications, particularly because a high separation factor could be achieved.
  93. Electrochemical Separation System for the Efficient Co-recycle of Li from Li Ion Batteries
    This technology aims to include an electrochemical process as key element in the hydrometallurgical recovery of value metals (i.e. Co, Mn, and Li) from Li ion batteries. This concept consists in the inclusion of an electrochemical separation step based on the use of a selective membrane and a re-generable carbon source for the production of high purity Li2CO3.
  94. Two-Stage Removal of Selenium from Copper Smelter Stack Wash
    This invention is a two-stage polishing process that results in the removal of interfering soluble selenium (selenious acid, H2SeO3) from the acidic stack wash of copper smelters, making the resulting solution ideal as an ion exchange feed solution from which the critical metal rhenium can be isolated, concentrated, and eluted as a product.
  95. Reengineered Sorbents for Li Extraction from Ambient Temperature Geothermal Brine
    LiCl · 2Al(OH)3 · nH2O, LDH has been identified as an effective sorbent for selective extraction of lithium from brines.  However, LDH is suitable for only high temperature (possibly 80-125 °C) brine solution. Our concept is to use novel type sorbents in a column extraction.
  96. Alkaline-Based Rare-Earth Free Hard Magnets
    The present invention provides a new permanent magnet that its magnetic moment remains the same as that of SmCo5. Although the uniaxial magnetic anisotropy of invented system is approximately 1/5th of the anisotropy of SmCo5, our system is completely rare earth free and it will be the cheapest possible gap magnet.
  97. A New Electrolyte System for the Preparation of Rare Earth Elements
    Three new electrolyte systems were investigated to examine the possibility of electrodepositing individual rare-earth elements. Although all the three electrolytes (one unitary, one binary and one ternary) showed good results for depositing these elements, the ternary electrolyte showed a significant advantage in terms of obtaining metallic deposits at a much lower operating temperature. The present invention discloses the use of the new electrolyte systems not just for electrodepositing rare-earth elements but also for carrying out electroplating, electrorefining of oxidized products and developing a new surface-diffusion process to fabricate novel materials.
  98. Electrochemically Driven Dissolution of Rare Earth Magnets
    An electrochemically driven process which eliminates need to add acid for dissolution of magnets. This application would be used for recycling of rare earth magnets, where rare earth elements are bound in the metallic structure of the magnet alloy. By weight the rare earth elements are about 35 percent of the composition. Typical dissolution procedures involve adding acid to perform the dissolution. The approach described here largely eliminates acid use, where an electrochemical reaction creates the dissolution environment.
  99. Alkaline Earth Metal Based 2-14-1 and 1-12-1 Hard Magnets
    The present invention provides new permanent magnets (A2Fe14B and AFe12N, where A = alkaline earth metal) that their magnetic moments remain nearly similar to that of Nd2Fe14B and NdFe12N, respectively. The magnetic anisotropies of the invented magnet material are uniaxial that qualifies them to be a permanent magnet. These anisotropies can be further enhanced to achieve needed anisotropy for gap magnets. From predictive strain calculations, it is also possible to mechanically stabilize these systems. The partial substitution of Nd by alkaline earth metal could stabilize NdFe12N in the bulk form.
  100. Selective Recovery and Concentration of Lithium Chloride with Composite Membranes
    Patent application filed
    The membrane-based selective Li extraction and concentration can potentially address the issue of recovering Li from geothermal brines with a lithium/aluminum layered double hydroxide-based sorption system that requires further concentration, which concentrates both the desired elements and undesirable impurities.
  101. Hard Disk Drive Dismantlement for Critical Material Recovery
    Patent issued January 2022 #11,230,752 link to pdf
    Patent issued February 2022 #11,250,980 link to pdf
    This invention rapidly and economically disassembles hard disk drives to recover critical rare earth elements, metals, printed circuit boards, and other constituents. Additionally, this invention destroys data on spinning disk platters. An outcome of this invention is re-usable, unaltered materials that may potentially be reused in new manufactured hard disk drives. Our process does not damage components during disassembly and allows applications for directly re-using recovered components such as magnet assemblies, cases, and printed circuit boards. Re-use is not limited to hard drives, many items could be produced using various forms of HDD constituents such as magnetic powder that can be formed into magnets of any shape (e.g. 3D printed).
  102. Novel Method to Prepare High Performance Magnet Polymer Composite Magnets
    Patent application filed
    An extrusion-based 3D printing method to fabricate bonded magnets with a loading fraction of up to 70 vol.%. We have developed a method to recycle end-of-life bonded magnets. We have developed a novel extrusion-compression molding method to for complex shaped parts.
  103. Automated Recovery of Rare Earth Permanent Magnets from Electric Machines
    Patent issued March 2023 #11,612,266 link to pdf
    This invention describes a method for economic dismantlement of electric machines and other apparatus to recover critical rare earth elements and other value streams such as copper, printed circuit boards, aluminum, steels, wire, etc. This process ingests entire electric machines and dismantles them down to individual, separated value streams. The proposition is to automate the disassembly process for many types of electric machines by human-robot collaboration. The collaboration allows for rapid extraction of critical REEs by taking advantage of both human and robotic skill sets.
  104. Integrated Data Destruction and Platinum Group Metals Recovery from Hard Disk Drive Platters
    Data destruction is crucial for end-of-life hard disk drives (HDDs) available for recycling that hold personal, governmental, company and other institutional data.
  105. Recycling of Neo Magnets by HDDR Process-selection of Process Parameters to Re-fabricate Bonded and Sintered Magnets
    This disclosure addresses the problem that hard disk drive (HDD) contain low concentrations of valuable metals as well as less valuable metals, glass or other materials, which makes efficient and eco-friendly recycling a global challenge. A proof-of-concept experiment has been performed to develop a efficient, cost-effective and eco-friendly chemical process for harvesting and concentrating the magnetic layer of platinum group metals (palladium) from platters for subsequent materials recovery.
  106. Engineered Microbes for Rare Earth Element Adsorption
    Engineered bacterial strains of Caulobacter crescentus and Escherichia coli, that express lanthanide binding tag (LBT) on cell surface proteins, showed enhanced ability to sequester rare earth elements through bio-absorption.
  107. Sulfuric Acid Baking and Leaching of Samarium-Cobalt Magnet Swarf
    Current processes recover cobalt content from Sm-Co magnet swarf through smelting operations or simply discard the material as waste. The described process provides an alternative to current practices and enables additional revenue streams by the recovery and production of salable samarium oxide. This process also has the advantage of safely disposing metalworking fluid contained in rare earth magnet machine waste, which can be troublesome from a technical and environmental perspective.
  108. Preferential Degradation
    The preferential degradation process takes advantage of the grinding behavior of different materials in heterogenous shredder output to produce a rare earth concentrate from magnet containing devices.
  109. Lithium Extraction from Geothermal Brine Solutions via Nanoengineered Polymer Composite Sorbent Bead
    The invention relates to a lithium sorbent for extracting lithium.
  110. Production of Castable Light Rare Earth Rich Light Metal Alloys from Direct Reduction Processes
    Patent issued June 2022 #11,365,463 link to pdf
    Much of the aluminum alloy market is highly cost sensitive and many application choose to use lower cost heavier materials rather than adopting aluminum. Additionally, rare earth mining operations result in the abundant production of waste materials rich in light rare earth elements, but which are no economical to refine further. These precursor materials can be used in combination with light metals to directly reduce the precursor creating a light metal, rare earth alloy. Also these alloys, because of the extreme low cost of the precursor compounds, can be produced for less than the cost of scrap recycled or primary aluminum.
  111. Diglycolamide Derivatives for Improved Separation and Recovery of Rare Earth Elements
    Patent issued June 2021 #11,040,296 link to pdf
    Discovery is diglycolamide derivatives that exhibit improved separation and recovery of rare earth elements, which can result in significant cost savings and, therefore, will encourage production of REEs domestically.
  112. Reductive Leaching of Metals from Li-ion Battery Electrodes
    Patent application filed
    A method to effectively leach the metal components from Li-ion battery electrodes at room temperature in short reaction times. A reductant is used to reduce the highly insoluble Co(III), and all metal species are solubilized in a dilute acid solution. This method has been extended to an electrochemical process that minimizes the amount of reducing agent needed and provides an inexpensive and scalable process for the initial stage of valuable metals recovery from lithium ion batteries.
  113. Graphitization of Carbon Fiber in Molten Salts
    The invention uses a lower temperature, and results in significant temperature reduction and energy savings, when compared to the current energy-intensive process for converting amorphous carbon fiber to graphitic carbon fiber by heating to high temperature.
  114. A Novel Bio-Based Material for Rare Earth Element Separation
    Patent issued August 2023 #11,713,493 link to pdf
    A bio-based rare earth element separation technology consisting of lanthanide binding tag-displayed E. coli and/or C. crescentus cells encapsulated within a polymer matrix and used as a column chromatography resin that enables a continuous flow system for the separation of individual REEs from aqueous REE-containing feedstocks. 
  115. Recycling of Additively Printed Rare-Earth Bonded Magnets
    An efficient and environmentally benign method of recycling additively printed Nd−Fe−B polymer bonded magnets. The recycled magnets show increase in remanence and saturation magnetization with minimal degradation in coercivity, and energy product that is comparable with additively printed bonded magnets. Method enables direct reuse of bonded magnets, including those derived from additive manufacturing processes, for making new bonded magnets with promising mechanical and magnetic properties.
  116. Method to Fabricate High-Density and Strength Magnetic Alloy 
    Patent application filed
    Proposed concept to design, develop, and implement a scalable manufacturing process to fabricate Fe with 6 percent Si steel with high magnetization, high electrical resistivity, high permeability and low coercivity. The proposed process uses manufacturing methods to print near net-shape Fe-Si magnets.
  117. Reactive Matrix Infiltration of Powder Preforms
    Patent issued January 2023 #11,565,318 link to pdf
    Method to use reactive liquid material to infiltrate particle preforms. The reactive material will form an interfacial bond with the structure produced from bound particles during or following infiltration. This bond will lead to increased coherency between the particle and infiltrant matrix. Increased coherency will result in further improved strength and structure uniformity. Infiltration will be performed above the infiltrant materials melting point but below the melting point of the powder preform material.
  118. Fine Grain Structures for Tough Rare Earth Permanent Magnets and Production Therefor
    Develop fine grain structures for rare earth permanent magnets and their production methods. Relates to refined grain structures with significantly enhanced flexural strength or fracture toughness while maintaining or with a minimum sacrifice in the hard magnetic properties. The novel tough magnets will be more robust for energy applications, more effective for the use of critical materials while reducing the pressure on critical material supply chain. This invented technology is cost-effective, and also compatible with the existing manufacturing processes so that it can be readily adopted by the industry.
  119. Chemical Formulation to Leach Palladium Bearing Materials
    Patent application filed
    Method can operate at room temperature and shows rates that are similar to those performed at much higher temperatures to recover palladium from catalysts and electronic devices.
  120. Recovery of Cobalt from End-of-Life Lithium Batteries with Supported Membrane Solvent Extraction
    Cobalt is a critical material, substantially and increasingly used in the lithium ion batteries, which are considered as an important secondary resource for the extraction and recovery of cobalt. The recycling and reuse of the cobalt from lithium ion batteries is important for the sustainability of the clean energy industry.
  121. Electrochemical Transformation of Amorphous Carbon to Graphite in Molten Magnesium Chloride
    Patent application filed
    The electrochemical transformation of amorphous carbon to graphite is a highly energy intensive process requiring temperatures in excess of 3000 K and elevated pressures. Herein, we report the electrochemical transformation of hard carbons.
  122. Al-Ce Alloy Compositions with Improved Physical Properties Designed Using CALPHAD
    Based on thermodynamic informed modeling using CALPHAD method (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams), identified Al-Ce alloys of specific compositions intended to optimize properties for advanced manufacturing. Mechanical testing shows that these alloys exhibit increased strength and improvements in ductility for high-temperature and light-weight materials applications. 
  123. New High Performance Magnet - Zr and Fe-alloyed Ce2Co17
    Novel solution to the use of rare earth elements in the composition of strong permanent magnets. The invention provides a high performance magnet using abundant non-critical elements to allow for the generation of magnetic anisotropy without neodymium, samarium or dysprosium.
  124. Selective Removal of Sodium and Potassium Contaminants from Lithium Chloride Brine Using Liquid-Liquid Separation
    Use liquid-liquid extraction separation to selectively remove sodium cation and potassium cation from solution containing lithium chloride, which increased the purity of the resultant lithium chloride solution.
  125. In-situ Alignment of Filament-Based 3D Printed Magnetic Material
    Develop a system with novel magnetic field source architecture and software for performing in-situ alignment of magnetic particles in fused filament commercial 3D printer. This process can be used for any magnetic material composition, including permanent or hybrid magnets. The concept could also be applicable for 3D printing of polymer materials with soft ferromagnetic domains and for in-situ pore (or channel) alignment in 3D printed architectures (like battery electrode). The work presents a benchmark for application of in-situ magnetic alignment of 3D printed magnetic system in industrial and commercial applications.
  126. Selective Extraction of Lithium from Hot Leachate Sulfate Stream Through a Precipitation Process
    The invention provides a method to selectively extract lithium from leachate solution.
  127. Selective Extraction of Lithium from Lithium Containing Brines
    The invention provides a method for extracting lithium from lithium containing solutions.
  128. Novel Method to Align Anisotropic Bonded Permanent Magnets during Printing
    Method to align anistrophic bonded permanent magnets during printing. The printed magnets demonstrate both high degree of alignment and magnetic properties.
  129. Discovery of Sm0.5Ce0.5Co4Cu: Permanent magnet with 50 percent reduced Sm and 20 percent reduced Co as compared to SmCo5
    New permanent magnet compositions with 50 percent reduced Sm and 20 percent reduced Co as compared to SmCo5, which provide cheaper and stable gap magnet.
  130. Methods of Recovering Rare Earth Elements
    Patent issued March 2021 #10,954,585 link to pdf
    Beta-Diketones have an acidic proton that will react with reduced metals, and this has been shown to react and chelate with transitional elements, rare earth elements, and their alloys. This reaction can lead to organic dissolution processes that do not require strong aqueous acids to dissolve the metals into a solution. 
  131. Methods of Sequestering Rare Earth Elements
    Methods of sequestering rare earth elements from a sample, methods of purifying a rare earth element from samples, pharmaceutical compositions comprising rare earth elements, and methods of treating a subject with said pharmaceutical compositions.
  132. High Temperature Al Alloys Containing Recycled Rare Earth Metals
    Method to synthesize high performance Al-based alloys (e.g., excellent elevated temperature mechanical behavior) using recycled rare earths extracted from scrap material. Provides a low-cost method to control the structure and properties of Al-based alloys through the addition of RE elements.
  133. Thermodynamically Informed Design of Rare-Earth Aluminum Casting Alloys with Additive Manufacturing Applications
    Al-Ce alloys of specific compositions intended to optimize properties for advanced manufacturing are based on thermodynamic informed modeling using CALPHAD method (CALculation of PHAse Diagrams). Mechanical testing shows that these alloys exhibit increased strength and improvements in ductility for high-temperature and light-weight materials applications. 
  134. Functionalizing Magnet Additive Manufacturing with In-situ Magnetic Field Source
    Additive manufacturing via 3D printing technologies have become a frontier in materials research, including its application in the development and recycling of permanent magnets. The invention provides a method to integrate magnetic field sources into 3D printing process to enable one-step printing, alignment and magnetization.
  135. Lithium Sulfate Concentration from Lithium Rich Leachate with Forward Osmosis and Nanofiltration
    The invention provides a method for concentrating lithium sulfate containing leachate solution from non-traditional mining operations.
  136. Near net shape fabrication of anisotropic magnet using hot roll method
    This is a a near-net-shape fabrication method that can make high performance small magnets consistently and cost-effectively. The advantages of this process are: (1) the strip width could be designed to be near-net-shape, so that only one cut is needed for sizing; (2) the strip has a thin ductile shell, which will avoid any fracturing during machining, assembly and service; (3) after cutting, only two sides of the magnet will be exposed to air. The small opening will oxidize a small fraction of the magnet and stop. It possible to save the protective coating process. (4) if large amount of copper is used in the tube materials, the diffusion of copper into the grain boundary may further enhance coercivity.
  137. Hydrometallurgical Process-Reversal Separation of Metals
    Efficient process-reversal separation technology, using an element that is a constituent of a waste being recycled, such that the added elements and materials of value in the mixture are separated in pure forms. Such an efficient strategy avoids the use of dangerous chemicals and limits processing steps. It is environmentally benign, and in line with Green Chemistry principles [2] regarding the atom economy, less hazardous chemical syntheses, design for energy efficiency, reduce derivatives, and use of renewable feedstock. Also, exclusion of mineral acids and hazardous chemicals in extraction of REEs from natural sources and e-waste, poses a significant challenge that will be overcome by the unconventional process-reversal mining. 
  138. Rare Earth Element-Aluminum Alloys
    Patent issued August 2023 #11,718,898 link to pdf
    The present invention relates to aluminum alloys with rare earth element additions; and more particularly, this invention relates to formation of optimized rare earth element-modified aluminum alloy compositions for advanced manufacturing and methods for making same.
  139. Al-Ce-X Alloys for Additive Manufacturing
    Compositions of interest for additive manufacturing (AM), based on the Al-Ce alloy system. The primary ternary alloying elements of interest in this invention are Mn and Ni. Al-Ce-Mn alloys have potential to form glass and quasicrystals (QC) under rapid solidification conditions, making them promising candidates for the solidification conditions found in AM. Al-Ce-Ni is also of interest because there is a ternary eutectic in the Al-rich corner of the phase diagram.
  140. Extracting of Lithium from Batteries via Accelerated Plating
    An electrochemically driven technique to extract metallic lithium from electrolyte phase of used lithium-ion battery. The process takes advantage of lithium plating, a critical mechanism that degrades lithium-ion batteries, to accelerate the extraction process and concentrate lithium from the electrolyte for subsequent collection and recycling.
  141. Internal defect detection and characterization of rare-earth permanent magnets by ultrasonic testing technique
    An internal defect detection and characterization technique for rare-earth permanent magnets (REPMs). A cost-effective and efficient nondestructive evaluation (NDE) method based on ultrasonic technique applied for detection and characterization of internal defects within the sintered, die-upset or other bulk REPMs.
  142. Process for Recovering Solids from Phosphoric Acid Sludge Containing Rare Earth Elements
    Technologies for recovering solids from phosphoric acid sludge containing rare earth elements.
  143. Enhanced Anodization Functionality in Al-Ce-based Alloys
    The invention provides anodized Al-Ce based alloys.
  144. Low-Temperature Electrochemical Transformation of Amorphous Carbon to Graphite in New Ternary Eutectic Molten Salts
    A low-temperature electrochemical transformation of amorphous carbon to graphite in new ternary eutectic molten salts.
  145. Effective and scalable synthesis of L10-FeNi powders for high-performance FeNi-based permanent magnets
    The current invention describes critical steps to synthesize chemically ordered L10-FeNi tetrataenite powders that can be used to manufacture high performance gap permanent magnets which contain common 3d elements – Fe and Ni. 
  146. Thermomechanically Processed, Nanostructured Al-REE Alloys
    The inventors have used processes and compounds to refine the microstructure and thus improve strength and other properties in aluminum alloys.
  147. Separation of Metals from Recycled Lithium-ion Battery Material Using Ion-exchange
    A method has been developed that allows for the separation of value metals from recycled Li-ion battery scrap cathode material using ion-exchange. This method can be used for different feed streams and is not specific to a single battery chemistry, which will allow for its utilization as battery technologies continue to evolve.
  148. Selective Precipitation of Metal Ion Salts from Saturated Aqueous Solutions
    Miscible organic solvent (MOS) separations for aqueous systems. As the MOS is dissolved into the aqueous solution, it drives saturation, and later precipitation, of salts contained in solution; this is often a selective precipitation. These interactions between MOS and aqueous phases present utility in the purification and dewatering of process streams, producing purified water and a concentrated solution for subsequent separations.
  149. Castable High Temperature Nickel-Rare Earth Element Alloys
    Nickel-Rare Earth Element (REE) alloys were developed as lower cost alternatives to standard high temperature and pressure materials. These alloys show promise to compete or improve the performance of existing Ni-based superalloys. Recent success has been found in the development of Al-Ce alloys with increased high temperature properties compared to other Al alloys. The same features are demonstrated in Ni-Ce alloys and more broadly to Ni-REE alloys.
  150. A Method for Chemically Manipulating the Reduction Potential in a Non-aqueous Solution
    The invention describes a method for manipulating the reduction potential in a non-aqueous solution.
  151. New Hardest Permanent Magnet Material
    How to substitute scarce, critical rare earths (Sm, Dy, Nd, etc...) and or nearly critical Co in commercial high-flux permanent magnets by inexpensive, abundant and non-critical elements to reduce material costs and ensure domestic supply chain security. Present invention is significant and impactful because it shows the record anisotropy fields and the required electronic parameters for the hardest ferromagnet are obtained at economically more favorable elemental compositions. In addition, we aim to further reduce material and yet lower the processing costs by equi-atomic substitution of certain elements. This will lower the heat treatment requirements, which consequently will facilitate simplification of manufacturing process, i.e., decreasing the number of processing stages and reducing energy consumption.
  152. Protein-based Method for REE Separation
    A novel REE separation technology, with all aqueous REE extraction and separation. Staged desorption process, whereby individual REEs are eluted from the column enabling the selective separation of REEs from non-REEs in an initial adsorption step followed by selective elution of specific REEs in high purity in a subsequent staged desorption process.  
  153. Thermo-mechanical Processing of High-Performance Al-RE Alloys
    Production of a bulk Al-RE alloy product made using cast billets/ingots (cooling rates < 100 C/s) or rapidly solidified Al-RE particulates (cooling rates 102-106 C/s) that have beneficial microstructural refinements to produce a consolidated bulk alloy product having excellent mechanical properties over a wide temperature range such as from room temperature up to and above 230oC.
  154. Methods for Recovering Metals from Electronic Waste, and Related Systems
    Patent issued August 2019 #10,378,081 link to pdf
    A method of recovering metals from electronic waste comprises providing a powder comprising electronic waste in at least a first reactor and a second reactor and providing an electrolyte comprising at least ferric ions in an electrochemical cell in fluid communication with the first reactor and the second reactor. The method further includes contacting the powders within the first reactor and the second reactor with the electrolyte to dissolve at least one base metal from each reactor into the electrolyte and reduce at least some of the ferric ions to ferrous ions. The ferrous ions are oxidized at an anode of the electrochemical cell to regenerate the ferric ions. The powder within the second reactor comprises a higher weight percent of the at least one base metal than the powder in the first reactor. Additional methods of recovering metals from electronic waste are also described, as well as an apparatus of recovering metals from electronic waste.
  155. Reactor Systems for Recovering Metals, and Related Methods
    Patent issued June 2021 #11,035,023 link to pdf
    A method of recovering metals from electronic waste comprises providing a powder comprising electronic waste in at least a first reactor and a second reactor and providing an electrolyte comprising at least ferric ions in an electrochemical cell in fluid communication with the first reactor and the second reactor. The method further includes contacting the powders within the first reactor and the second reactor with the electrolyte to dissolve at least one base metal from each reactor into the electrolyte and reduce at least some of the ferric ions to ferrous ions. The ferrous ions are oxidized at an anode of the electrochemical cell to regenerate the ferric ions. The powder within the second reactor comprises a higher weight percent of the at least one base metal than the powder in the first reactor. Additional methods of recovering metals from electronic waste are also described, as well as an apparatus of recovering metals from electronic waste.
  156. Rare Earth Laser-Assisted Metal Production (RELAMP) and the Equipment Thereof
    This invention is a rare earth laser-assisted metal production (RELAMP) and the equipment for the same. The technology enables reduction of REE salts and complexes into metals by using pulsed laser to excite and cleave molecular bonds, such as those in oxides, oxalates, etc. The process holds the potential towards development  of sustainable REE metal production strategies within the US and minimize import dependence.
  157. A novel efficient process for separation of critical materials from primary and secondary sources.
    This is a novel Membrane Solvent Extraction (MSX) technology for the recovery of high purity (99.5-99.99 wt.%) critical elements from spent LIBs.  The MSX system provides a compact and modular configuration, achieving high extraction rates for desirable elements with low energy and cost requirements.
  158. New High Performance Magnet - Zr and Fe-alloyed Ce2Co17
    The subject invention poses a novel solution to the presently necessary use of certain "rare-earth" elements such as neodymium, samarium and dysprosium in the composition of strong permanent magnets such as those used in hybrid and battery electric vehicles, wind turbines, disk drives, and many other technologies. These elements are presently only available outside the United States with associated geo-political risk, as exemplified by the 2011 rare-earth supply crisis that led to the creation of the U.S. Department of Energy Critical Materials Institute.
  159. Reduced Cost and Criticality Competitor to SmCo Magnets
    The technology provides a reduced cost competitor to SmCo magnets.
  160. High Temperature Al alloys containing Recycled Rare Earth Metals
    The technology provides a high temperature Al alloy containing recycled rare earth metals.
  161. Electrodeposition of Neodymium from an Organic Electrolyte Prepared by a Salt Metathesis Reaction
    The technology describes critical element free, low-cost competitor to NdFeB-based magnets.
  162. Critical Element Free, Low-Cost Competitor to NdFeB-Based Magnets
    The technology describes critical element free, low-cost competitor to NdFeB-based magnets.
  163. Castable high performance 1:7-type Cerium magnets
    We have discovered a family of castable high-performance Ce-based permanent magnet materials. Present invention is significant and impactful because it shows that energy products beyond typical gap-magnet (10 – 20 MGOe) are possible in the 1:7-type Ce-based series with no powder processing steps. The alloys are castable and preserve their intra-granular coercivity mechanism, which makes them economical domestic and versatile competitors with commercial SmCo permanent magnets that can be used in the vast variety of greenhouse reducing and/or traditional industrial applications.
  164. Magnetic Field Assisted Fast Charging of Lithium Batteries
    This invention describes a method for fast charging of lithium ion batteries. A major limitation of Li-ion batteries for use in many applications, including electric vehicles, is the timescale for normal charging. Although fast charging is possible, over-oxidation in charging is common as electrodeposition of the anodic surface occurs. This effect is known as lithium plating and reduces the battery capacity and performance severely by leaching active lithium from the electrolyte and depositing a metallic film over the anode. This invention describes applying a magnetic field that reduces lithium plating during fast charging of Li-ion batteries, which has the capability to increase the lifetime of fast-charged lithium ion batteries by hundreds of cycles.
  165. Methods of Separating Metals from a Lithium Ion Battery Leachate
    Metal impurities, such as iron or aluminum, in lithium-ion battery black mass leachate solutions are known competitive ions in extraction methods for cobalt and nickel, and their removal is critical in isolating high purity metals. This process enables removal of ~90% of the iron and aluminum from the leachate, and these precipitates can be collected by normal filtration. Minimal loss of cobalt, nickel manganese and lithium concentrations were observed in cobalt and nickel-rich leachates. The process does not require pH shock (strong base) minimizing cost and waste.
  166. Novel Systems and Methods of Reductive-acid Leaching of Spent Battery Electrodes to Recover Valuable Materials
    Systems and methods of a novel hydrometallurgical process to perform reductive-acid leaching and separation of constituent compounds from solid material generated from the electrodes of lithium-ion batteries, or other source material containing target high-value materials.
  167. Process Method for Reductive Leaching and Recovery of Materials from End-of-life Lithium-ion Batteries
    Process method for reductive leaching and recovery of materials from end-of-life lithium-ion batteries
  168. Methods of Producing a Metal by Electrochemical Processing of a Sulfoarsenide Compounds and Related Electrochemical Cells
    Arsenic handling and immobilization is a critical issue in the mining of sulfoarsenide minerals, due to arsenic’s toxicity to the environment. Significant amount of can be present in Cu, Zn, Ni, and Co minerals. Cobaltite (CoAsS) for example, is one of those sulfides from which Co can be mined as the primary mineral. However, extraction of Co from it generates equivalent mass of arsenic per extract cobalt. To unlock the domestic cobalt production, efficient arsenic immobilization techniques are needed. Compared to traditional hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical processes, an electrochemical method is proposed to efficiently immobilize arsenic from cobaltite. An electrochemical cell was assembled to promote the immobilization of arsenic, in the presence of iron, via the precipitation of crystalline scorodite (FeAsO4 · 2H2O).
  169. Selective Precipitation of Solutes from Aqueous Solutions and Related Systems
    In this work, the versatility of miscible organic solvent (MOS) separations is demonstrated for aqueous systems. In contact with the aqueous solution, the MOS has two possible interactions: it can generate an organic phase that can receive water (and certain solutes) while simultaneously dissolving into the aqueous phase. As the MOS is dissolved into the aqueous solution, it drives saturation, and later precipitation, of salts contained in solution; this is often a selective precipitation, and thus a hydrometallurgical extraction. These interactions between MOS and aqueous phases present utility in the purification and dewatering of process streams, producing purified water and a concentrated solution for subsequent separations (or applied to waste streams, a dewatered product suitable for dry stack tailings storage). The volatile nature of the MOS allows for its removal from solution through evaporation, with only transient effects (no residual reagent) on the original solution.
  170. Aluminum-Cerium-Manganese Alloy Embodiments for Metal Additive Manufacturing
    U.S. Patent issued March 2023 #11,608,546 link to pdf
  171. Composite Nanoparticles Containing Rare Earth Metal and Methods of Preparation Thereof
    U.S. Patent issued May 2015 #9,938,628 link to pdf
  172. Composite Nanoparticles Comprising a Complexing Ligand and Methods of Preparation Thereof
    U.S. Patent issued April 2018 #10,760,168 link to pdf
  173. Aluminum alloys with improved intergranular corrosion resistance properties and methods of making and using the same
    U.S. Patent issued September 2023 #11,761,061 link to pdf
  174. YCo5-based compounds doped with Fe and Ni for high-performance permanent magnets
    U.S. Patent issued December 2023 #11,837,389 link to pdf