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Resources 2017, 6(3), 39; doi:10.3390/resources6030039

On the Extraction of Rare Earth Elements from Geothermal Brines

1
Metallurgical Engineering Department, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84115, USA
2
Energy & Geoscience Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA
3
Chemical Engineering Department, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2017 / Revised: 9 August 2017 / Accepted: 15 August 2017 / Published: 18 August 2017
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Abstract

The availability of rare earth elements from primary resources has come into question in the last two decades. This has sparked various government and industry initiatives to examine potential rare earth element resources apart from virgin ore bodies. Geothermal fluids are potentially significant sources of valuable minerals and metals, while co-recovery with geothermal energy production would be an attractive sustainable system. In this work, we give a brief survey of data collected on rare earth element concentrations in geothermal fluids. A survey of methods and technologies for extracting rare earth elements from geothermal is discussed along with the feasibility of recovering rare earth elements from geothermal brines. Based on the findings of this study, rare earth element extraction from geothermal fluids is technically possible, but neither economically viable nor strategically significant at this time. View Full-Text
Keywords: rare earths; geothermal; brine; extraction rare earths; geothermal; brine; extraction
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Smith, Y.R.; Kumar, P.; McLennan, J.D. On the Extraction of Rare Earth Elements from Geothermal Brines. Resources 2017, 6, 39.

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