Modeling Preparative Chromatographic Separation of Heavy Rare Earth Elements and Optimization of Thulium Purification


Rare Earth Elements are in growing demand globally. This paper presents a case study of applied mathematical modeling and multi objective optimization to optimize the separation of heavy Rare Earth Elements, Terbium-Lutetium, by means of preparative solid phase extraction chromatography, which means that an extraction ligand, HDEHP, is immobilized on a C18 silica phase, and nitric acid is used as an eluent. An ICP-MS was used for online detection of the Rare Earths. A methodology for calibration and optimization is presented, and applied to an industrially relevant mixture. Results show that Thulium is produced at 99% purity, with a productivity of 0.2 - 0.5 kg Tm per m3 stationary phase and second, with Yields from 74% to 99%.

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Max-Hansen, M. , Knutson, H. , Jönsson, C. , Degerman, M. and Nilsson, B. (2015) Modeling Preparative Chromatographic Separation of Heavy Rare Earth Elements and Optimization of Thulium Purification. Advances in Materials Physics and Chemistry, 5, 151-160. doi: 10.4236/ampc.2015.55016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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