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Novel Primary Processing of Scarce Element Ores

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-13-P-1140
Agency Tracking Number: O12B-T02-4012
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: OSD12-T02
Solicitation Number: 2012.B
Solicitation Year: 2012
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-04-04
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2013-10-04
Small Business Information
104 Inwood Drive
San Marcos, TX -
United States
DUNS: 831536615
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 John Massingill
 (512) 557-7461
Business Contact
 John Massingill
Title: President
Phone: (512) 557-7461
Research Institution
 Texas State University-San Marcos
 Bill Covington
601 University Drive
San Marcos, TX 78666-4684
United States

 (512) 245-2314
 Nonprofit College or University

The rare-earth elements (REEs) find uses in many high tech military applications, including night vision goggles, laser range finders, precision guided weapons, and stealth technology. Their high costs (up to $6800/lb. Scandium) are due to low concentration in ores and high cost of separation. Fourteen of the REEs are listed in a single box in the periodic table, meaning they all have almost identical chemical behaviors. CHEMTOR, L.P. will collaborate on this STTR Phase I feasibility project with Texas State University-San Marcos and Quinn Process Equipment Co., Colorado (QPEC). QPEC makes mixer-settlers for the mining industry. CHEMTOR will adapt the game changing ultra-efficient non-dispersive, static Fiber Reactor (FR) and game changing ionic liquids to greatly improve the efficiency and economics of REE solvent extraction (SX) processes. The FR produces 60X more surface area than dispersion processors, does not make emulsions, and gives instant separation. CHEMTOR will develop and evaluate practical, robust REE SX processes that are highly efficient and can 1) use commercial extractants/solvents efficiently and safely, (2) use highly efficient Ionic Liquids as green solvent, and 3) use Task Specific Ionic Liquids to replace extractant and solvent. The FR contactor-settler will be a fraction the size of current technology with benefits of small foot print and reduced capital. The new processor eliminates dispersions, so it will not produce rag or crud layers. This will result in reduced additives, reduced crud processing, reduced solvent loss and generally give improved plant operation with less down time, less waste, less pollution.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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