In the Press
Mblad, the brand new B2B magazine about the environment, sustainability and innovation published a article about the availability issue of Critical Metals with respect to clean technologies. RARE³ KU Leuven features within the article (full reference: Mblad, 1 (1), 2016, 4-7). You can read the entire article here.
Prof. Koen Binnemans (RARE³ KU Leuven) in an interview with the Flemish quality newspaper De Morgen, 29 January 2016, on the issue of thorium reactors in the popular Norwegian television series Occupied.
The Flemish weekly quality news magazine Knack (13-1-2016) featured a 3-page interview with Prof. Koen Binnemans on the lessons learnt from the rare earth crisis. Attention goes out to the so-called balance problem. Binnemans also reflects on the potential parallels between the rare earth and antimony situation.
Researchers in Belgium have developed a method to extract antimony from lamp phosphor waste and convert residues from the process into fertiliser. This approach is completely non-toxic with the only byproduct being sodium chloride – table salt – which is easily discarded.
On the 24th of June 2015 one of the most important newspapers in Germany Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published an article “A treasure slumbers in old fluorescent lamps”.
As part of ongoing research into critical metal reuse and recycling, chemical engineers have teamed up with chemists to develop a simple photochemical method for separating vital rare earth metals, europium and yttrium.1Rare earth elements are crucial for modern technologies such as batteries, magnets and consumer electronics, but their similar chemical properties make them difficult to separate.
Researchers from the KU Leuven Department of Chemical Engineering have discovered a method to separate two rare earth elements – europium and yttrium – with UV light instead of with traditional solvents. Their findings, which were published in Green Chemistry, offer new opportunities for the recycling of fluorescent lamps and low-energy light bulbs.
Chemists hope to break China’s monopoly on rare-earth elements by finding cheap, efficient ways to extract them from ore.
RARE³ team (Binnemans & Dupont, KU Leuven) obtains worldwide press coverage with its work on REE recycling through ionic liquids. The work is now picked up in an feature article on novel recycling methods in the journal Chemistry & Engineering News, the magazine for the members of the American Chemical Society.
Chemists in Belgium have shown how an intriguing ionic liquid they developed 10 years ago can recover valuable rare earth metals from stockpiles of used fluorescent lamps and magnets.