Rare earth metals from environmental-friendly recycling and reduction processes

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diagram shows steps in the process
Process scheme 

CMI researchers at Ames National Laboratory conducted the research for this highlight

Room temperature synthesis of water-free rare earth fluoride and subsequent calciothermic reduction


  • Water-free rare earth fluoride synthesis without hydrofluoric acid
  • Demonstrated metal production using synthesized material recovered from recycling of magnets

Significance and Impact

  • Eliminating hydrofluoric acid improves operational safety.
  • Eliminating pre-reduction calcination step improves energy efficiency and is more environmentally friendly
  • Process intensification results in better cost-efficiency

Hub Target Addressed 
Advancing efficient and cost-effective rare earth element production


image of round piece of metal on white background with CMI logo
Selected piece of the RE metal product (112 mg)



image of reduction setup
Reduction setup