|2/9/2016 by mdc|
|Scott Koperski reports that following an announcement late last month that a company has successfully tested a scale cell for harvesting rare-earth elements from would-be mining waste, Rare Earth Salts has announced a new partnership in a program to recycle light bulbs. The Beatrice, Nebraska startup company signed a five-year commercial agreement with Rare Earth Recovery Sciences (RERS) to produce separated rare-earth oxides in Beatrice.|
Rare Earth Recovery Sciences is a buyer of retorted phosphor powder from fluorescent light bulb. The agreement will launch the company to the production phase this year, while still planning a commercial plant in Beatrice for its primary operation. This is an important step towards accomplishing their goal of producing significant quantities of economic and marketable high-purity rare earth oxides in the U.S., Rare Earth Salts CEO Joseph Brewer said in a press release. RERS is an ideal partner for RES and this agreement facilitates the production of salable product this year.
Cameron Davies, Chief Operating Officer, said a concentrate from light bulbs will be processed in Indiana where the phosphor is removed. The retorting process removes all mercury from the product and leaves the company with a product containing rare-earth elements. The phosphor, essentially a fine powder, will be transported to a Beatrice location where the usable elements will be extracted.
From the used light bulb waste, the company can extract high-purity Yttrium, Europium, Terbium, Cerium and Lanthanum oxides, all of which are can be harvested products used in lasers, steel alloys, television and computer screens, magnets, hybrid engines and other items.