Doctoral Dissertations

Keywords and Phrases

Ionic Liquids; Rare Earth Elements; Solvent Extraction; Task-Specific Chemicals


“This research focused on the design and synthesis of task-specific ionic liquids for enhanced extraction and separation of rare earth elements (REEs). Two novel ammonium-based functional ionic liquids (FILs) with oxygen donating groups: trioctyl(2-ethoxy-2-oxoethyl)ammonium dihexyl diglycolamate, [OcGBOEt][DHDGA], and tricaprylmethylammonium dihexyl diglycolamate, [A336][DHDGA] were synthesized and tested for the recovery and separation of selected REEs from aqueous solutions. Functionalities with different denticities were incorporated into both anionic and cationic parts of ionic liquids, which are solely composed of incinerable atoms including C, H, O, and N. The structural, physical, and chemical properties of the synthesized FILs were studied using nuclear magnetic resonance (1H- and 13C-NMR), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), disc scanning calorimetry (DSC) in addition to density and viscosity analysis.

The influence of key process parameters on the extraction efficiency of the synthesized FILs was examined in detail using europium as an example of REEs. The extraction mechanism of the synthesized FILs was systematically investigated using FTIR and NMR spectroscopies in addition to the slope analysis approach.

The better extractability, enhanced selectivity towards heavy rare earth, and improved loading capacity of the new FILs are the key advances of this research which will immensely contribute to the field of hydrometallurgical separation of REEs”--Abstract, page iii.


Alagha, Lana Z.

Committee Member(s)

Moats, Michael S.
Schlesinger, Mark E.
Awuah-Offei, Kwame, 1975-
Baker, Sheila


Mining Engineering

Degree Name

Ph. D. in Mining Engineering


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2019


xv, 139 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographic references (pages 117-138).


© 2019 Mostafa Khodakarami, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11877

Electronic OCLC #