Al-Ce alloy promotes pathways for lower REE criticality

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bar chart shows quintupling cerium and lanthanum prices through increased demand shifts the point of positive revenue generation to the more abundant light rare earth element alloys.  
Quintupling cerium and lanthanum prices through increased demand shifts the point of positive revenue generation to the more abundant light rare earth element alloys.  

CMI researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Colorado School of Mines, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Yale University and Eck Industries conducted the research for this highlight

Achievement

Materials science and economic analysis informed the potential for Al-Ce alloy technology to improve rare earth element (REE) supply chains and reduce the energy required for some aluminum alloy production. 

Significance and Impact

  • Growth in La/Ce demand and value could shift the point of profit for rare earth mines towards lighter REEs and stabilize Nd and other critical REE market.
  • Informs the community about sustainability gains to be captured with expanded non-critical rare earth demand.
  • Continued investigations of lower cost alloying methods like direct reduction will further improve sustainability gains and make better use of domestic supply.

Hub Target Addressed 
This work helps communicate the economic, scientific, and technological principles needed to guide the extraction of materials as co-products and by-products

bar chart shows heat-treat free Al-Ce alloys provide both time and energy savings compared to conventional Al alloy manufacturing including a 16% reduction in CO2
Heat-treat free Al-Ce alloys provide both time and energy savings compared to conventional Al alloy manufacturing including a 16% reduction in CO2