Rare earth elements (REEs) are strategic materials widely used in different applications from Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to catalysis, which are expected to grow more in the future. In order to reduce the impact of market price and reduce the environmental effect from soil extraction, recovery/purification strategies should be exploited. This paper presents a combined acid-leaching/oxalate precipitation process to recover lanthanum from spent FCC catalyst using nitric acid. Preferred to hydrochloric and sulphuric acid (preliminary assessed), HNO3 showed a good capability to completely leach lanthanum. The combination with an oxalate precipitation step allowed demonstrating that a highly pure (>98% w/w) lanthanum solid can be recovered, with a neglectable amount of poisoning metals (Ni, V) contained into the spent catalyst. This could open a reliable industrial perspective to recover and purify REE in the view of a sustainable recycling strategy.

Towards the circular economy of rare earth elements: Lanthanum leaching from spent FCC catalyst by acids

Catizzone E.;Blasi A.;Romanelli A.;Morgana M.;Braccio G.;
2021

Abstract

Rare earth elements (REEs) are strategic materials widely used in different applications from Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to catalysis, which are expected to grow more in the future. In order to reduce the impact of market price and reduce the environmental effect from soil extraction, recovery/purification strategies should be exploited. This paper presents a combined acid-leaching/oxalate precipitation process to recover lanthanum from spent FCC catalyst using nitric acid. Preferred to hydrochloric and sulphuric acid (preliminary assessed), HNO3 showed a good capability to completely leach lanthanum. The combination with an oxalate precipitation step allowed demonstrating that a highly pure (>98% w/w) lanthanum solid can be recovered, with a neglectable amount of poisoning metals (Ni, V) contained into the spent catalyst. This could open a reliable industrial perspective to recover and purify REE in the view of a sustainable recycling strategy.
Acid leaching
FCC catalyst
Rare earth elements
REE recycling
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/60327
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