A Low-Cost Rare Earth Elements Recovery Technology

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: EP-D-13-039
Agency Tracking Number: EP-D-13-039
Amount: $79,985.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: B
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
20 New England Business Center, Andover, MA, -
DUNS: 073800062
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Prakash Joshi
 (978) 689-0003
Business Contact
 B Green
Phone: (978) 689-0003
Email: green@psicorp.com
Research Institution
Physical Sciences Inc. and the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research propose to develop a unique enabling technology to significantly reduce U.S. dependency for Rare Earth Elements (REE) on foreign suppliers and our global competitors. Our innovation is a process that utilizes very inexpensive and abundant domestic raw materials for high-yield and low-cost generation of REE in environmentally responsible and beneficial ways. The process has the potential to meet the entire projected U.S. REE demand over the next decade utilizing a small fraction of the annual production of the domestic raw materials. Our approach is complementary, but far more efficient, than other methods of recovering REE, e.g., recycling components from used machinery and equipment. A key aspect of our process is that it also removes hazardous contaminants from the raw materials as part of the REE recovery cycle, rendering them more valuable for commercial use.§The objective of the SBIR program is to develop the REE recovery process technology. In Phase I, we propose to demonstrate the feasibility of our process on laboratory scale. We plan to identify ancillary pre and post processes as well as beneficiated byproducts and co-products that will enhancethe utility of the raw materials and economics of the entire project. We will also address the environmental benefits and considerations associated with the processes and products in Phase I. In Phase II, we intend to further develop, engineer, and optimize the process and its environmental benefits. There are several potential commercial applications of the technology proposed under this SBIR project. These include (1) commercially viable processes for domestically producing materials (rare earths) of strategic importance to the U.S. at low cost, (2) commercially viable processes for environmentally beneficial utilization of readily available domestic raw materials, and (3) low-cost, marketable byproducts and co-products of commercial value that can be used domestically and also exported to the emerging economies of the world.

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

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