Comparative Analysis of Processes for Recovery of Rare Earths from Bauxite Residue
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Environmental concerns and lack of space suggest that the management of bauxite residue needs to be re-adressed. The utilization of the residue has thus become a topic high on the agenda for both academia and industry, yet, up to date, it is only rarely used. Nonetheless, recovery of rare earth elements (REEs) with or without other metals from bauxite residue, and utilization of the left-over residue in other applications like building materials may be a viable alternative to storage. Hence, different processes developed by the authors for recovery of REEs and other metals from bauxite residue were compared. In this study, preliminary energy and cost analyses were carried out to assess the feasibility of the processes. These analyses show that the combination of alkali roasting-smelting-quenching-leaching is a promising process for the treatment of bauxite residue and that it is justified to study this process at a pilot scale.
KeywordsScandium Jarosite Leach Solution Sc2O3 Bauxite Residue
This work was supported by the DBOF grant from KU Leuven to CRB and by the Research Platform for the Advanced Recycling and Reuse of Rare Earths (IOF-KP RARE3), funded by the Industrial Research Fund of the KU Leuven.
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