A new acid treatment of mine wastewater, which is capable of converting waste into valuable important mineralshas been created. Ag roup of scientists from Pesilvan University has been able to turn the problem of environmental pollution into an important internal source of critically needed rare earths. They are in demand in the production of various technologies, from smartphones to fighters.
Mohammad Rezai, associate professor of Mining at the University, noted that acid drainage has been considered one of the most serious environmental problems for many decades. But a new research is proving that it is possible to modify existing machining processes to not only solve existing problems, but also to reduce machining costs.
The mine wastewater treatment process consists of two stages, in the framework of which high concentrations of rare earth elements are restored. At the same time, the amount of chemicals used has been significantly reduced.
The experts believe that this method is not only eco-friendly, but also effective and inexpensive. The recoverable rare earth elements are composed of a group of 17 minerals. They are widely used in advanced technology.
For example, the United States imports nearly 100% of these materials, and China produces nearly 85% of all world supplies. The new purification method represents a promising internal source of these metals, as it is capable of detecting high concentrations.
Currently, previously developed processes only incur the costs of water purification, and in many cases no attention is paid to valuable minerals. Using a new cleaning method will help to transform what was previously considered as waste into a valuable and sought-after resource.