CMI Project 3.2.11: Cerium gettering of copper & iron in aluminum alloy recycling

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Principal Researchers

Ryan Ott at Ames Laboratory leads the CMI project "Cerium gettering of copper & iron in aluminum alloy recycling"

This project seeks to improve the energy efficiency and economics of aluminum recycling by using overly-produced rare earth mining by-products (e.g., cerium). Small additions of cerium to selected aluminum scrap streams increases the alloy tolerances to impurities and improves the overall corrosion behavior. The cerium additions allows for lower quality scrap streams to be used in the production of high-value alloys. This reduces the need for energy- and cost-intensive high-purity aluminum additions. The critical materials benefit is the high value market for the low value by-products that are created during mining critical materials like neodymium, praseodymium, dysprosium, etc. This high value market improves the economics of domestic rare earth mining.