Study on the Recovery of Rare Earth Metals Using Stimuli-Responsive Macromolecules


This work focuses on the extraction of rare earth metals (REE) from aqueous solutions using stimuli-responsive polymers. Various parameters affecting the adsorption capacity of the polymer, including pH, polymer concentration and REE concentration were studied. The interfacial behavior of REE in aqueous phase before and after polymer addition and the mechanism of the formation of metal-polymer complexes and their properties were investigated using UV/VIS spectroscopy. Results obtained would help to test the feasibility of employing stimuli responsive polymers in pre-concentration of rare earth elements associated with other elements in mineral aqueous streams prior to solvent extraction. The pre-concentration step would reduce the amount of organic solvents used for extraction and striping compared to conventional extraction processes.

Meeting Name

2016 SME Annual Conference and Expo (2016: Feb. 21-24, Phoenix, AZ)


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Complexation; Extraction; Metal recovery; Polymers; Rare earth elements; Rare earths; Solutions; Solvent extraction; Ultraviolet visible spectroscopy; Adsorption capacities; Conventional extraction; Interfacial behaviors; Metal-polymer complexes; Polymer concentrations; Stimuli-responsive; Stimuli-responsive polymer; UV/ Vis spectroscopy; Functional polymers; UV/Visible spectroscopy stimuli-responsive polymers

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2016 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2016

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