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Highly selective process developed to recover germanium

Germanium is a precious metal which is mainly used as a semiconductor in electronics and infrared optic industries, and as a polymerisation catalyst for the production of polyethylene terephthalate. Due to its high supply risk and its high economic importance, germanium is considered as one of Europe’s critical metals.

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Research

Solvometallurgical recovery of metals from SmCo magnets

A solvometallurgical route for recycling of SmCo permanent magnets was developed by researchers from the SOLVOMET Group (SIM² KU Leuven). The method is based on non-aqueous solvent extraction to minimize water consumption.
The work is published in Separation and Purification Technology.

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EREAN

Metal recovery from spent samarium-cobalt magnets

Metals in spent samarium-cobalt magnet can be recovered by oxidative dissolution of metals in trichloride ionic liquids, followed by metal removal from the leachate with a series of stripping steps. The ionic liquids can be reused for next cycles after regeneration.

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CROCODILE

MSA: a green solvent for the recovery of REEs

Within the EU Horizon 2020 REMAGHIC project, SIM² KU Leuven developed a novel process to recover rare earths (REEs) from lamp phosphor waste by dissolution in concentrated methanesulphonic acid (MSA), which is a green solvent.

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