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3rd International Conference on Magnetism and Magnetic Materials

Rome, Italy

Liubov Lukina

KU Leuven, Belgium

Title: A step towards magnetic separation of rare earth ions


Biography: Liubov Lukina


Rare earth metals are critical elements for many high-tech applications, e.g. electric vehicles, wind power generators and electronics. Due to the scarcity of rare earth metal supplies in Europe, it is clear that new efficient, environmentally friendly and cheap methods for separating rare earth metals from electronic and mining waste are needed. Currently used solvent extraction process is time-consuming and not efficient. In this context, magnetic separation of rare earth ions looks promising. Magnetic separation is a well-established method used in ore processing, food industry, biomedical diagnostic etc. The method of magnetic separation is based on the fact that REM have different magnetic susceptibilities: some of the rare earth ions are strongly paramagnetic (Dy3+, Ho3+), which means that they move towards the magnet; the other rare earth ions are diamagnetic (Sc3+, Y3+, Lu3+), hence they will move away from the magnet. Particles, cells and molecules easily undergo separation in a magnetic field. However, magnetic separation of ions has not been reported since 1950s. In this work, magnetomigration of rare earth ions was investigated using a separation device. The separation device featured a 2.5 ml3 cell where rare earth solution was enclosed and circulated due to natural convection. Magnetic field was applied to the device using a magnetic yoke setup. Enrichment of paramagnetic Dy3+ ions in the paramagnetic fraction was achieved. Simulation of the experimental system in Comsol 5.2 is allowed to verify the observed fluid flow and temperature patterns. Magnetomigration is the first step to magnetic separation of rare earth ions.