Leaching of Rare Earth Metals from Phosphor Coating of Waste Fluorescent Lamps

  • Amit AnandEmail author
  • Randhir Singh
  • Abdul Rauf Sheik
  • Malay Kumar Ghosh
  • Kali Sanjay
Technical Paper


Phosphors made from compounds of rare earth metals (REMs) are very efficient. This material needs to be recycled for recovery of REMs after the fluorescent lamps (FLs) reach end of life. This work focuses on the leaching studies of REMs from phosphor. The phosphor was recovered from the spent linear FLs by end cut-push method. After detailed characterization of phosphor, effects of parameters viz. leachant, concentration, temperature, and pulp density were studied to determine the optimum leaching conditions. By using 9% (v/v) H2SO4, 98.6% (w/w) yttrium and 96.2% (w/w) europium could be leached out from phosphor at temperature, 70 °C, time, 4 h, and pulp density, 10% (w/v). The residue generated was treated with 54% (v/v) HCl to leach out 98.9% (w/w) lanthanum, 98.2% (w/w) cerium and 96.5% (w/w) terbium at temperature, 90 °C, time, 2 h, and pulp density, 10% (w/v). Kinetic studies of leaching reactions were also carried out.


Leaching Rare earth metals Phosphor Waste recycling Fluorescent lamps 



Infrastructure of the Hydro and Electrometallurgy Department of CSIR-IMMT, CSC0101 (MULTIFUN) and Polymetallic Nodules Programme (MoES, New Delhi) is gratefully acknowledged. The authors are thankful to Dr S.K. Biswal and Mr. S.K Jena, CSIR-IMMT, for their support in characterization of REMs by ICP-OES. J. Samantray is thanked for her help with alkali digestion of phosphor and residue samples.


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Copyright information

© The Indian Institute of Metals - IIM 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Minerals, Metallurgical and Materials EngineeringIndian Institute of TechnologyBhubaneswarIndia
  2. 2.Hydro and Electrometallurgy DepartmentCSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials TechnologyBhubaneswarIndia

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