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Issue 19, 2017
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Recovery of rare earth elements with ionic liquids

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Rare earth elements (REEs) are in high demand as critical materials in modern green and other advanced technologies. This review focuses on the recovery of REEs from waste with ionic liquids (ILs) as green dilutants and extractants to tackle the REE supply challenge. Extraction mechanisms in different extraction systems, including pure ILs, non-functional ILs with extractants, and functional ILs, are discussed in depth. The IL-based extraction process is different from the traditional molecular solvent-based extraction process. In addition, stripping is crucial to recovering ILs, and supercritical CO2 (Sc-CO2) is introduced to recover REE complexes from the IL phase. Also, Sc-CO2 can accelerate the whole extraction process by enhancing mass transfer. The challenge is to understand the extraction mechanism of the IL/Sc-CO2 system to advance the green recovery of REEs from waste.

Graphical abstract: Recovery of rare earth elements with ionic liquids

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Dec 2016, accepted on 14 Aug 2017 and first published on 14 Aug 2017

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C7GC02141K
Citation: Green Chem., 2017,19, 4469-4493
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    Recovery of rare earth elements with ionic liquids

    K. Wang, H. Adidharma, M. Radosz, P. Wan, X. Xu, C. K. Russell, H. Tian, M. Fan and J. Yu, Green Chem., 2017, 19, 4469
    DOI: 10.1039/C7GC02141K

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