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Title: Techno-economic and Life Cycle Analysis for Bioleaching Rare-Earth Elements from Waste Materials

A bioleaching process to extract rare earth elements (REE) from fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts was optimized using a heterotrophic bacterium Gluconobacter oxydans to produce organic acids from glucose. Parameters optimized included agitation intensity, oxygen levels, glucose concentrations and nutrient additions. Biolixiviants from the optimized batch process demonstrated REE leaching efficiencies up to 56%. A continuous bioreactor system was subsequently developed to feed a continuous leach process and demonstrated leaching efficiencies of 50%. A techno-economic analysis showed glucose to be the single largest expense for the bioleach process constituting 37.8% of the total cost. The bioleaching plant described here was found profitable although the margin was small. Lower cost carbon and energy sources for producing the biolixiviant and improved leaching efficiencies would improve profitability as well as sourcing FCC catalysts with higher levels of REE. In conclusion, a life cycle analysis showed that electricity generation and glucose production required for the bioreactor had the largest potential for environmental impacts.
Authors:
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN (United States)
  3. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-17-42701-Rev000
Journal ID: ISSN 2168-0485
Grant/Contract Number:
AC07-05ID14517
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 2168-0485
Publisher:
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; Techno-economic analysis; Life Cycle Analysis; Bioleaching; Rare Earth Elements; Industry Process
OSTI Identifier:
1476826

Thompson, Vicki S., Gupta, Mayank, Jin, Hongyue, Vahidi, Ehsan, Yim, Matthew, Jindra, Michael A., Nguyen, Van, Fujita, Yoshiko, Sutherland, John W., Jiao, Yongqin, and Reed, David W.. Techno-economic and Life Cycle Analysis for Bioleaching Rare-Earth Elements from Waste Materials. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b02771.
Thompson, Vicki S., Gupta, Mayank, Jin, Hongyue, Vahidi, Ehsan, Yim, Matthew, Jindra, Michael A., Nguyen, Van, Fujita, Yoshiko, Sutherland, John W., Jiao, Yongqin, & Reed, David W.. Techno-economic and Life Cycle Analysis for Bioleaching Rare-Earth Elements from Waste Materials. United States. doi:10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b02771.
Thompson, Vicki S., Gupta, Mayank, Jin, Hongyue, Vahidi, Ehsan, Yim, Matthew, Jindra, Michael A., Nguyen, Van, Fujita, Yoshiko, Sutherland, John W., Jiao, Yongqin, and Reed, David W.. 2017. "Techno-economic and Life Cycle Analysis for Bioleaching Rare-Earth Elements from Waste Materials". United States. doi:10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b02771. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1476826.
@article{osti_1476826,
title = {Techno-economic and Life Cycle Analysis for Bioleaching Rare-Earth Elements from Waste Materials},
author = {Thompson, Vicki S. and Gupta, Mayank and Jin, Hongyue and Vahidi, Ehsan and Yim, Matthew and Jindra, Michael A. and Nguyen, Van and Fujita, Yoshiko and Sutherland, John W. and Jiao, Yongqin and Reed, David W.},
abstractNote = {A bioleaching process to extract rare earth elements (REE) from fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts was optimized using a heterotrophic bacterium Gluconobacter oxydans to produce organic acids from glucose. Parameters optimized included agitation intensity, oxygen levels, glucose concentrations and nutrient additions. Biolixiviants from the optimized batch process demonstrated REE leaching efficiencies up to 56%. A continuous bioreactor system was subsequently developed to feed a continuous leach process and demonstrated leaching efficiencies of 50%. A techno-economic analysis showed glucose to be the single largest expense for the bioleach process constituting 37.8% of the total cost. The bioleaching plant described here was found profitable although the margin was small. Lower cost carbon and energy sources for producing the biolixiviant and improved leaching efficiencies would improve profitability as well as sourcing FCC catalysts with higher levels of REE. In conclusion, a life cycle analysis showed that electricity generation and glucose production required for the bioreactor had the largest potential for environmental impacts.},
doi = {10.1021/acssuschemeng.7b02771},
journal = {ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering},
number = 2,
volume = 6,
place = {United States},
year = {2017},
month = {12}
}