- About Us
- Career Center
- Nano-Social Network
- Nano Consulting
- My Account
|Flat-screen televisions and other technologies rely on rare earth elements that are in short supply, but scientists are working on a new way to recycle them from wastewater.|
Many of today's technologies, from hybrid car batteries to flat-screen televisions, rely on materials known as rare earth elements (REEs) that are in short supply, but scientists are reporting development of a new method to recycle them from wastewater. The process, which is described in a study in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, could help alleviate economic and environmental pressures facing the REE industry.
Zhang Lin and colleagues point out that REEs, such as terbium — a silvery metal so soft it can be cut with a knife — behave in unique ways as super magnets, catalysts or superconductors. That makes them irreplaceable in many of today's tech gadgets and machines. Market watchers expect global demand to rise to at least 185,000 tons by 2015. Although some of these elements are actually plentiful, others are indeed in short supply. According to reports, terbium and dysprosium supplies may only last another 30 years. Attempts so far to recycle them from industrial wastewater are expensive or otherwise impractical. A major challenge is that the elements are typically very diluted in these waters. The team knew that a nanomaterial known as nano-magnesium hydroxide, or nano-Mg(OH)2, was effective at removing some metals and dyes from wastewater. So they set out to understand how the compound worked and whether it would efficiently remove diluted REEs, as well.
To test their idea, they produced inexpensive nano-Mg(OH)2 particles, whose shapes resemble flowers when viewed with a high-power microscope. They showed that the material captured more than 85 percent of the REEs that were diluted in wastewater in an initial experiment mimicking real-world conditions. "Recycling REEs from wastewater not only saves rare earth resources and protects the environment, but also brings considerable economic benefits," the researchers state. "The pilot-scale experiment indicated that the self-supported flower-like nano-Mg(OH)2 had great potential to recycle REEs from industrial wastewater."
The authors cite funding from the National Basic Research Program of China, the Outstanding Youth Fund, the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Fund of Fujian Key Laboratory of Nanomaterials and the Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
About American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 163,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.
For more information, please click here
Zhang Lin, Ph.D.
State Key Laboratory of Structural Chemistry
Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter
Chinese Academy of Sciences
350002 P. R. China
Phone and Fax: +086-591-83705474
General Inquiries: Michael Bernstein
Science Inquiries: Katie Cottingham, Ph.D.
Copyright © American Chemical SocietyIf you have a comment, please Contact us.
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
|Related News Press|
News and information
Marrying superconductors, lasers, and Bose-Einstein condensates: Chapman University Institute for Quantum Studies (IQS) member Yutaka Shikano, Ph.D., recently had research published in Scientific Reports June 20th, 2016
Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers
The next generation of carbon monoxide nanosensors May 26th, 2016
Mille-feuille-filter removes viruses from water May 19th, 2016
First single-enzyme method to produce quantum dots revealed: Biological manufacturing process, pioneered by three Lehigh University engineers, produces equivalent quantum dots to those made chemically--but in a much greener, cheaper way May 9th, 2016
FEI and University of Liverpool Announce QEMSCAN Research Initiative: University of Liverpool will utilize FEI’s QEMSCAN technology to gain a better insight into oil and gas reserves & potentially change the approach to evaluating them June 22nd, 2016
French Research Team Helps Extend MRI Detection of Diseases & Lower Health-Care Costs: CEA, INSERM and G2ELab Brings Grenoble Region’s Expertise In Advanced Medicine & Magnetism Applications to H2020 IDentIFY Project June 21st, 2016