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Title: The Occurrence and Concentration of Rare Earth Elements in Acid Mine Drainage and Treatment By-products: Part 1—Initial Survey of the Northern Appalachian Coal Basin

Abstract

The conventional rare earth element (REE) industry has historically sought to develop ore deposits where geologic processes have produced mineralized zones with commercially attractive REE concentrations. These deposits are extremely uncommon, particularly in the USA. Given the criticality of these materials and the need for sustainable domestic supply, the current research seeks to leverage other autogenous processes that lead to concentrated REE resources. One such process is the generation of acid mine drainage (AMD). AMD is very common in many coal mining districts and results from the exposure and oxidation of pyrite during mining. During the generation and migration of AMD, liberated sulfuric acid mobilizes several metal ions including REEs. Treatment of AMD is required under U.S.C §1251, the Clean Water Act, and often consists of neutralization, oxidation, and metal hydroxide precipitation. To investigate the deportment of REEs during this process, a field sampling campaign was undertaken, whereby the concentration of REEs in AMD and AMD precipitates was measured directly. In the nine sites evaluated in this study, the REE concentrations of the precipitates varied from 29 to 1286 ppm with an average of 517 ppm among the sampled sites. The individual elements were enriched compared with the associated bulkmore » Northern Appalachian (NAPP) coal material by factors ranging from 3 to 15. Furthermore, the distribution of REEs in all precipitate samples favored the heavy REEs (HREEs) when compared with traditional REE ores. Finally, this research represents the first part of multi-part research endeavor to characterize, classify, and determine the practicality of refining REEs from AMD and its by-products.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. West Virginia Water Research Inst., Morgantown, WV (United States)
  2. Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ. (Virginia Tech), Blacksburg, VA (United States). Virginia Tech Mining and Minerals Engineering
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
West Virginia Water Research Inst., Morgantown, WV (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
OSTI Identifier:
1577094
Grant/Contract Number:  
[FE0026927]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 36; Journal Issue: 5]; Journal ID: ISSN 2524-3462
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; Acid Mine Drainage; Rare Earth Elements; Coal Byproducts

Citation Formats

Vass, Christopher R., Noble, Aaron, and Ziemkiewicz, Paul F. The Occurrence and Concentration of Rare Earth Elements in Acid Mine Drainage and Treatment By-products: Part 1—Initial Survey of the Northern Appalachian Coal Basin. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1007/s42461-019-0097-z.
Vass, Christopher R., Noble, Aaron, & Ziemkiewicz, Paul F. The Occurrence and Concentration of Rare Earth Elements in Acid Mine Drainage and Treatment By-products: Part 1—Initial Survey of the Northern Appalachian Coal Basin. United States. doi:10.1007/s42461-019-0097-z.
Vass, Christopher R., Noble, Aaron, and Ziemkiewicz, Paul F. Tue . "The Occurrence and Concentration of Rare Earth Elements in Acid Mine Drainage and Treatment By-products: Part 1—Initial Survey of the Northern Appalachian Coal Basin". United States. doi:10.1007/s42461-019-0097-z.
@article{osti_1577094,
title = {The Occurrence and Concentration of Rare Earth Elements in Acid Mine Drainage and Treatment By-products: Part 1—Initial Survey of the Northern Appalachian Coal Basin},
author = {Vass, Christopher R. and Noble, Aaron and Ziemkiewicz, Paul F.},
abstractNote = {The conventional rare earth element (REE) industry has historically sought to develop ore deposits where geologic processes have produced mineralized zones with commercially attractive REE concentrations. These deposits are extremely uncommon, particularly in the USA. Given the criticality of these materials and the need for sustainable domestic supply, the current research seeks to leverage other autogenous processes that lead to concentrated REE resources. One such process is the generation of acid mine drainage (AMD). AMD is very common in many coal mining districts and results from the exposure and oxidation of pyrite during mining. During the generation and migration of AMD, liberated sulfuric acid mobilizes several metal ions including REEs. Treatment of AMD is required under U.S.C §1251, the Clean Water Act, and often consists of neutralization, oxidation, and metal hydroxide precipitation. To investigate the deportment of REEs during this process, a field sampling campaign was undertaken, whereby the concentration of REEs in AMD and AMD precipitates was measured directly. In the nine sites evaluated in this study, the REE concentrations of the precipitates varied from 29 to 1286 ppm with an average of 517 ppm among the sampled sites. The individual elements were enriched compared with the associated bulk Northern Appalachian (NAPP) coal material by factors ranging from 3 to 15. Furthermore, the distribution of REEs in all precipitate samples favored the heavy REEs (HREEs) when compared with traditional REE ores. Finally, this research represents the first part of multi-part research endeavor to characterize, classify, and determine the practicality of refining REEs from AMD and its by-products.},
doi = {10.1007/s42461-019-0097-z},
journal = {Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration},
number = [5],
volume = [36],
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {6}
}

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