Sequestering Rare Earth Elements and Precious Metals from Seawater Using a Highly Efficient Polymer Adsorbent Derived from Acrylic Fiber
Seawater contains large quantities of valuable minerals, some of which are very scarce and expensive including rare earth elements, platinum group metals, lithium, copper, cobalt, silver, and gold. The amidoxime-based adsorbents derived from acrylic fiber show high affinities (KD > 104) with these metals in seawater except for lithium and gold. The starting material of this novel fiber adsorbent is easily available, and the synthesis procedure is simple. The fiber adsorbent can be mass produced for extraction of valuable minerals from seawater. Extraction of valuable metals from saline brines generated in desalination plants appears especially attractive. The highly saline brine contains all minerals present in ocean at nearly twice the concentrations in seawater. Mining minerals from these brines can offset part of the desalination cost as well as mitigate the brine disposal problem. Further research in this area is currently in progress.
Published: July 14, 2022
Pan H., J.E. Strivens, L. Kuo, and C.M. Wai. 2022.Sequestering Rare Earth Elements and Precious Metals from Seawater Using a Highly Efficient Polymer Adsorbent Derived from Acrylic Fiber.Metals 12, no. 5:Art. No. 849.PNNL-SA-164913.doi:10.3390/met12050849