REEtec develops technologies and businesses related to rare earth elements (REE). A new and unique separation method for REEs is being developed through an extensive R&D program that started in 2007. The new method exhibits a number of advantages compared to solvent extraction, which currently is the dominating separation technology. Full separation of all 16 REEs may be achieved with very few process steps securing an efficient process and a fairly simple plant lay out.
A pilot plant has been built and is in operation at Herøya, Norway where testing and further development of the process is under way.
Rare Earth Elements
REE are more critical to you in your daily life than you may think. They are used in a range of green technologies, including magnets for wind turbines, hybrid-car batteries and LED lamps. You also find them in many of the items you are surrounded by, such as cell phones, iPods and LCD screens.
There are a total of 16 naturally occurring rare earth elements, 14 within the chemical group called lanthanides, plus yttrium and scandium which are considered rare earth elements because they tend to occur in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides and exhibit similar chemical properties.
In nature REEs are found as components in several minerals, the most important sources being bastnäsite, monazite and xenotime. Typically these minerals comprise several percentages by weight of REEs. Dependent on the specific ore, the distribution between the different REEs may differ substantially. As the 16 REEs all tend to occur together in the same mineral deposits, to separate them into single elements of high purity is challenging and expensive due to their chemical similarity.
Solving the challenge
REEtec provides the answer to this separation challenge. Our new technology will make it possible to separate the REEs very efficiently and in an environmentally friendly way. Of particular importance is the great separation capability for mixtures of the so called SEG and Heavy REEs considered to be the most difficult to separate with traditional technologies.
The new method is also characterized by being very environmentally friendly, with no organic solvents, no questionable chemicals involved in the process, full recycling of all process chemicals and no waste or emission.
Chief Executive Officer
REEtec is led by Sigve Sporstøl, MSc who has a long international track record as executive manager within the chemical industry.