Rare earth materials require a number of processing stages before they can be used in an application:
- Mining rare earth ore from the mineral deposit;
- Separating the rare earth ore into individual rare earth oxides;
- Refining the rare earth oxides into metals with different purity levels;
- Forming the metals into rare earth alloys; and
- Manufacturing the alloys into components, such as permanent magnets, used in defense and commercial applications.
Most rare earth material processing now occurs in China. In 2009, China produced about 97 percent of rare earth oxides and it has announced to cut the rare earth export dramatically in coming years. To reduce the dependence on China supply, other countries have taken drastic actions to re-start the production of rare earth. In U.S., for example, the House has passed the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010 (H.R. 6160) and the Senate will soon vote on a similar bill (S-4031) to invigorate support for research and development in the field of rare earths. The United States Government Accounting Office (GAO) has published a report that details the need of rare earth materials in the defense supply chain. The Department of Energy has emphasized the importance of rare earths to clean energy technologies in its recent report entitled Critical Materials Strategy. Officials of the rare earth company that owns the Mountain Pass mine in California expect that by 2012 it will achieve full-scale production of mining and separating cerium, lanthanum, praseodymium, and neodymium oxides. However, the Mountain Pass facility does not currently have the full capability needed to refine the oxides into pure rare earth metals.
Rare earth processing methods commonly used in China have significant impacts on the environment. In order to meet the growing global demand for rare earth materials and products for clean energy, energy independence and defense applications in general and revitalize the domestic REE business in particular, new and more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable techniques must be developed and evaluated. The proposed conference will provide a timely venue to bring together scientists, engineers, professors, and students to report and discuss challenges and recent progress in REE related research and development with an emphasis on physical and extractive metallurgy involved in the separation and refining stages of REE and define future development activities and directions.
The conference will address the multi-disciplinary nature of REE processing and will attempt to bring together those who have expertise in specific aspects of REE mineralogy, physical and physicochemical separation, digestion, extraction, interfacial and bulk diffusion, novel chemical/reagents, waste water treatment/recycling and other technologies related to REE purification and extraction.
Dr. Daniel Tao, University of Kentucky, USA
Dr. Rick Honaker, University of Kentucky, USA
Dr. Keith A. Delaney, Rare Earth Industry and Technology Association, USA
Dr. Brent Hiskey, The University of Arizona, USA
Dr. Ram Darolia, GE Aviation (Retired), USA
International Advisory Committee
Prof. Corby Anderson, Colorado School of Mines, USA
Prof. Ruan Chi, Wuhan Institute of Technology, China
Dr. Keith A. Delaney, REITA, USA
Dr. Karl Geshcnieider, Ames National Laboratory
Prof. James Hedrick, Hedrick Consultants, USA
Prof. Brent Hiskey, University of Arizona, USA
Dr. John Hryn, Argonne National Laboratory, USA
Prof. Xiaowei Huang, General Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals (GRINM), China
Dr. Eduardo Kamenetzk, Cytec Industries Inc., USA
Dr. R. William McCallum, Ames Laboratory
Prof. Jan Miller, University of Utah, USA.
Prof. Atsushi Muramatsu, Tohoku University, Japan
Dr. Kimihiro Ozaki, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and technology, Japan
Prof. Jon J. Kellar, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, USA
Dr. B.K. Parekh, University of Kentucky, USA
Prof. Zheng Qi, General Research Institute For NonFerrous Metals (GRINM), China
Dr. S.A. Ravishankar, Cytec Industries Inc., USA
Prof. Junji Shibata, Kansai University, Japan
Dr. Sam Sinha
Dr. Bradley Van Gosen, U.S. Geological Survey
Prof. Shengming Xu, Tsinghua University, China
Prof. Zhenghe Xu, University of Alberta, Canada
Prof. Chunhua Yan, Peking University, China
Prof. R.-H. Yoon, Virginia Tech, USA
Prof. Courtney Young, Montana Tech, USA
Dr. Patrick Zhang, Florida Institute of Phosphate Research, USA
Provided by Engineering Conferences International
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