Processing of rare earths

  Kilian Neubert FRE

China has a current market share of 97 % and is by far the largest producer of rare earth concentrates. Continuously increasing export restriction, together with a drastic rise in prices have caused the industry to attempt to reduce dependency on China for these much demanded raw materials.

Within the scope of a cooperation project with the AMR, four institutes at the RWTH and two external institutes, together with SIEMENS AG research is being made into new, sustainable, environment-friendly and economically efficient methods to gain rare soils and to process them. One of the main areas of focus for AMR is the research of usability of sensor-supported sorting for the processing of rare earths.

Separation of rocks should be possible in future by applying various sensor technology. Indicators are being researched which indicate existence of rare earths within certain material and enable separation/sorting of rare earths at an early stage in the process chain.

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