CMI Project 1.2.14: Enhanced separation of critical materials

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Kevin Lyon at Idaho National Laboratory leads the CMI project "Enhanced separation of critical materials"

Project Description: Separation of individual rare earth elements (REE) is regarded as the most difficult processing step in the production of high purity rare earth oxides for end-use technology applications due to their inherent chemical similarities. The current state-of-the-art for industrial REE separations utilizes solvent extraction with phosphonic acids, a complex process notorious for its excessive chemical consumption, wastewater effluents, and hundreds of processing steps required to produce individual purified REE. This project seeks to enable domestic REE production by providing economically viable and environmentally sustainable alternatives for REE separations using novel separation technologies that significantly reduce capital and operating costs.