Biosorption: LBT column for REE separation

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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 and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory conducted the research for this highlight

Achievements
Demonstrated successful immobilization of lanthanide binding tags (LBT), synthetic peptides with high affinity and selectivity for REEs, to enable on-column REE separation. 

Significance and impact
The differential binding affinity of LBT among lanthanide series elements holds promise for a new and more sustainable avenue for REE separation.  A column with immobilized LBT displays a binding preference for heavy REEs relative to light REEs.

Details and next steps
Follow-on work will include improvements of both column setup and operational parameters for clean separation of lanthanides into groups. We will also test with REE mixtures of varying composition and concentration produced from different types of feedstocks.