Rare earths separation from fluorescent lamp wastes using ionic liquids as extractant agents
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Processing of end-of-life products has become essential in the rare earth elements (REEs) recovery field because the demand for these metals has increased over the last years due to their intensive use in advanced technologies. Fluorescent lamp wastes are considered one of the most interesting end-of-life products for investigation due to their high REEs content, mainly yttrium and europium. As a result, red phosphors (Y2O3:Eu3+ – YOX) have been chosen for evaluating their REEs’ recovery potential. The REEs from a YOX reach liquor, coming from a soft leaching process have been precipitated adding oxalic acid and calcined to get the REEs in oxide form. Cyanex 572, D2EHPA and the ionic liquids, Primene 81R·Cyanex 572 IL and Primene 81R·D2EHPA IL, have been chosen to investigate the efficiency of REEs separation in chloride media. Yttrium, europium and cerium have been individually recovered by a four stages cross-flow solvent extraction process using the Primene 81R·D2EHPA IL and the Primene 81R·Cyanex 572 IL as extractants. Ce(III), Eu(III) and Y(III) have been obtained at high purities >= 99.9%. 4 mol/L HCl has been used to recover the yttrium and the europium from the organic phases.
CitationPavon, S., Fortuny, A., Coll, M.T., Sastre, A. Rare earths separation from fluorescent lamp wastes using ionic liquids as extractant agents. "Waste management", 19 Octubre 2018, vol. 82, p. 241-248.