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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Recovery of rare earth elements from NdFeB magnet by mono- and bifunctional mesoporous silica: Waste recycling strategies and perspectives

Dudarko, Oksana; Kobylinska, Natalia; Kessler, Vadim; Seisenbaeva, Gulaim


Rare earth elements (REEs) such as Nd3+ and Dy3+ were recovered from simulated and real leaching solution of the NdFeB magnet via solid phase extraction (SPE). Extraction of REEs from simulated solutions was investigated using silica functionalized with NH2-, EDTA and/or phosphonic groups. The effects of several experimental factors (pH, efficiency of adsorbents, selectivity, and elution of metal ions) on extraction of REEs were investigated. Exploiting specific affinities of adsorbents toward REEs in the presence of competing ions, selective separation of REEs was achieved successfully. The affinity of phosphorous/nitrogen containing adsorbents had the descending order of adsorption: Fe3+ > Dy3+ > Nd3+ > Ni2+ > Al3+ for multi-component systems. In the first approach, a procedure based on precipitation of Fe3+ ions combined with SPE was evaluated for the recovery of REEs in two steps. Most of the Fe3+ ions (85%) were efficiently separated by adding an ammonia solution (pH ~ 2.5). Chemical analysis of precipitate showed, though, a high content of REEs. Extraction of REEs from supernatant liquid via bi-functional mesoporous silica with EDTA and/or phosphonic groups recovered ~97.0% of Nd3+ with Ni2+ and Al3+ ions as impurities. Non-ordered silica functionalized with phosphonic groups, showed economical superiority over other mesoporous adsorbents studied for REEs extraction. Complete recovery (97.8%) of REEs was achieved after several stages of SPE with adsorbents functionalized by P/N-containing groups. The in-advance removal of Fe3+ ions was a prerequisite for successful implementation of this approach. Finally, separation of Nd3+ and Dy3+ was performed from nitric acid media using the gradient elution to obtain 98.4% purity Nd3+. The proposed step-by-step SPE procedure by P/N-containing functionalized silica was successfully applied for extraction of REEs (95.5%) in an industrial magnet. This study opens up possibilities for application of the developed approach for the End-of-Life materials recycling.


SBA-15; Neodymium magnet; Hydrometallurgical process; Adsorption; Selectivity; Regeneration

Published in

2022, Volume: 210, article number: 105855
Publisher: ELSEVIER

      SLU Authors

    • Sustainable Development Goals

      SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Materials Chemistry
      Metallurgy and Metallic Materials

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      Permanent link to this page (URI)