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Notes on Contributions to the Science of Rare Earth Element Enrichment in Coal and Coal Combustion Byproducts

Center for Applied Energy Research, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40511, USA
National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940, USA
Gradient, 600 Stewart Street, Suite 1900, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Gradient, 20 University Road, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Department of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Dallas, ROC 21, 800 West Campbell Road, Richardson, TX 75080-3021, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Mostafa Fayek
Minerals 2016, 6(2), 32;
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 4 March 2016 / Accepted: 25 March 2016 / Published: 31 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals in Coal)
PDF [791 KB, uploaded 31 March 2016]


Coal and coal combustion byproducts can have significant concentrations of lanthanides (rare earth elements). Rare earths are vital in the production of modern electronics and optics, among other uses. Enrichment in coals may have been a function of a number of processes, with contributions from volcanic ash falls being among the most significant mechanisms. In this paper, we discuss some of the important coal-based deposits in China and the US and critique classification systems used to evaluate the relative value of the rare earth concentrations and the distribution of the elements within the coals and coal combustion byproducts. View Full-Text
Keywords: lanthanide; yttrium; critical materials; coal; coal combustion by-products lanthanide; yttrium; critical materials; coal; coal combustion by-products

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Hower, J.C.; Granite, E.J.; Mayfield, D.B.; Lewis, A.S.; Finkelman, R.B. Notes on Contributions to the Science of Rare Earth Element Enrichment in Coal and Coal Combustion Byproducts. Minerals 2016, 6, 32.

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