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Rare Earths in Phosphate: Characterization and Extraction

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Friday, April 9, 2021 1:00pm

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This is a past event.

Chemical Engineering Seminar

Dr. Patrick Zhang

Director, Research
(Mining and Beneficiation)
Florida Polytechnic University


Much of the information presented at this seminar is based on results from a multi-year research project supported by the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), an Energy Innovation Hub funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office. It also draws substantial materials from two projects funded by the FIPR Institute, Florida Polytechnic University. The presentation includes four parts. Part I covers chemical analysis and basic properties of different samples. Part II is a detailed process mineralogy study of the amine flotation tails, as well as mineralogical analysis of phosphate clay and phosphoric acid sludge. Part III focuses on isolation and characterization of rare earth (RE) mineral particles in three samples using two advanced techniques, dual energy (DE) rapid scan radiography and high resolution X-ray microtomography (HRXMT). Part IV presents process development work on the concentration of REE-containing materials and recovery of REE.


Dr. Patrick Zhang obtained his Ph.D. degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno. He has 27 years of experience in phosphate research and 8 years of research background in recovery of rare earths from phosphate processing as a project leader under Critical Materials Institute (CMI). Since 1993, he has served as a Research Director with the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research (FIPR) Institute, Florida Polytechnic University. In this post, he led the Institute’s beneficiation program to global prominence by conducting more than 20 in-house projects, managing over 80 research contracts, chairing 7 international conferences, editing 7 books on phosphate processing, authoring numerous technical papers and book chapters, and delivering keynote/plenary speeches at various conferences.

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