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Supercritical Fluid Extraction of REEs Using CO2

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0020580
Agency Tracking Number: 249520
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 24b
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002145
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-01-06
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-11-17
Small Business Information
12345 West Fifty Second Avenue, Wheat Ridge, CO, 80033-1916
DUNS: 181947730
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Gokhan Alptekin
 (303) 940-2349
Business Contact
 John Wright
Phone: (303) 940-2300
Research Institution
Rare earth elements are used in a wide range of electronic and medical items including green technology products such as wind turbines, plug-in hybrid vehicles and energy efficient fluorescent lights. The U.S. imports 80% of its rare earth compounds and metals from China and rare earths imported from other countries were often produced in China. With the ongoing trade wars with China, there is a market opportunity for domestic REE production and refining. TDA Research, in collaboration with the Idaho National Laboratory, proposes to develop a new method to cost-effectively extract rare earth elements from domestically abundant coal and coal by-products using an environmentally friendly process. The new REE extraction process is based on a unique reactor design for supercritical CO2 extraction of REEs to enhance the overall removal efficiency. In Phase I, our objective is to design and demonstrate operation of the sCO2 extraction system. We will show that the unit retains its activity without any degradation due to accumulation or fouling in long duration tests a minimum of 1,000 hr). We will carry out a process design and evaluate the techno- economic viability of the new extraction technology. Rare earth elements are a rapidly growing market which could experience shortages due to fast growth in demand, Chinese export limitations, or trade wars. U.S. industry will benefit from domestic rare earth element production and refining, which will secure supply chains and decrease costs. TDA’s process offers cost effective extraction of rare earth elements in an environmentally friendly process from domestically abundant coal and coal by-products, recycled products, and rare earth ores.

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

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