Biosorption: LanM immobilization on columns

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REE breakthrough curves with REE mixtures that contain lanthanides and Y. REE breakthrough occurs at an earlier time for light REEs (La-Nd), followed by Y and heavier REEs (Eu-Lu).  Results show promise for REE separation into groups.
REE breakthrough curves with REE mixtures that contain lanthanides and Y. REE breakthrough occurs at an earlier time for light REEs (La-Nd), followed by Y and heavier REEs (Eu-Lu).  Results show promise for REE separation into groups.  

CMI researchers at Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Pennsylvania State University conducted the research for this highlight highlight

Achievements
Demonstrated successful conjugation of Lanmodulin (LanM), a natural protein with high affinity and selectivity for REEs, onto porous materials to enable on-column REE purification. 

Significance and impact
Use of LanM offers a new and more sustainable avenue for REE recovery. A column setup with immobilized LanM exhibits REE binding patterns similar to that of the free protein, with high REE binding affinity at low pH (down to ~3). The acid resistance overcomes a major limitation for protein application in metal extraction.

Details and next steps
By testing leachates prepared from different feedstocks, we will demonstrate an all aqueous, eco-friendly process for selective REE recovery.