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Electro-kinetic Separation Of Rare Earth Elements Using A Redox-Active Ligand.

Huayi Fang, Bren E. Cole, Yusen Qiao, Justin A. Bogart, Thibault Cheisson, Brian C. Manor, Patrick J. Carroll, Eric J. Schelter
Published 2017 · Medicine
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Purification of rare earth elements is challenging due to their chemical similarities. All of the deployed separation methods rely on thermodynamic properties, such as distribution equilibria in solvent extraction. Rare-earth-metal separations based on kinetic differences have not been examined. Herein, we demonstrate a new approach for rare-earth-element separations by exploiting differences in the oxidation rates within a series of rare earth compounds containing the redox-active ligand [{2-(tBuN(O))C6 H4 CH2 }3 N]3- . Using this method, a single-step separation factor up to 261 was obtained for the separation of a 50:50 yttrium-lutetium mixture.

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