CMI Project 1.2.1 Advanced leaching methods to recover critical materials from mineral sources

Leaching is the first step in chemically extracting rare earth elements (REEs) from mineral sources. As such, it presents the first opportunity to begin the arduous task of intra-element separation. This opportunity is squandered with conventional leaching practices that rely on the use of strong mineral acid and base lixiviants with little-to-no REE selectivity. This project seeks to design, develop, and implement novel lixiviants to achieve separative leaching of target REEs from mineral feedstocks such as bastnaesite. To achieve this goal, researchers will employ organic and inorganic synthesis, coordination chemistry, automation, and high-throughput techniques.