The rare earth elements (REEs) were classified as critical raw materials for Europe for their economic relevance and the supply risk. Currently, most of REE production is concentrated in the Chinese area and it is used for the production of many technologies including: fluorescent lamps, fluid catalytic cracking catalysts and permanent magnets. At the end of their life, these products can cause management problems, mainly due to the hazardous component presence. Nevertheless, this critical issue is combined with the significant content of REEs, which makes them a potential resource of secondary raw materials. In this regard, the literature reports many processes for the waste exploitation, but the effective sustainability is often neglected. In this context, the present paper took into account three processes, one for each mentioned waste, to assess both the environmental and the economic aspects. The obtained results were allocated on the basis of metals market price proving an advantage for most of the elements, compared to the primary production. Following the paper evaluation, the fulfillment of the circular economy approach could reduce up to 200 times the impact in the climate change category and up to 70 times the cost due to the REE mining.
|Titolo:||Sustainability analysis of innovative technologies for the rare earth elements recovery|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|