Marshallton licenses game-changing CMI separation technology

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Santa Jansone-Popova, left, and Ilja Popovs quantify rare-earth element concentrations in liquid samples using a spectroscopy instrument.
Santa Jansone-Popova, left, and Ilja Popovs quantify rare-earth element concentrations in liquid samples using a spectroscopy instrument.

CMI researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory conducted the activity for this highlight

Innovation 
Novel diglycolamide (DGA) extractants enable high-throughput REE separations with significant reductions in reagent and equipment requirements.

Achievement
CMI industry partner Marshallton Research Laboratories has licensed a new technology for REE separations using DGA extractants.

Significance and Impact

  • DGAs have superior selectivity among light REEs and do not require acid/base consumption typical of current industrial separation methods, potentially resulting in significant cost savings.
  • The license grants Marshallton the right to perform research and development to make and use the DGA extractants.
  • Next steps: Demonstration of a REE solvent extraction separation flowsheet, opening the door to a full commercial license and implementation.

Hub Target Addressed 
Licensing of this technology achieves the FA1 Hub-level goal for industry adoption of a CMI technology that diversifies the supply of REE.

Kevin Lyon, an INL chemical engineer with expertise in applied solvent extraction, operates a counter-current solvent extraction system for testing and developing the process design for the separation technology.
Kevin Lyon, an INL chemical engineer with expertise in applied solvent extraction, operates a counter-current solvent extraction system for testing and developing the process design for the separation technology.