Application of solvent extraction operation to recover rare earths from fluorescent lamps

Valentina Innocenzi, Nicolò Maria Ippolito, Loris Pietrelli, Marcello Centofanti, Luigi Piga, Francesco Vegliò

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)


The paper is focused on the application of solvent extraction for the recovery of rare earth elements from sulfuric leaching solutions obtained by the dissolution of fluorescent powders of lamps. The efficiency on rare earths extractions of three extractants, Cyanex 272, Cyanex 572 and D2EHPA in kerosene were investigated as a function of pH levels. Similar extraction for all the rare earths elements were observed, but the tests performed with D2EHPA showed that for pH values less than 1, yttrium and terbium could be extracted with yields higher than the other rare earths. The orders of the extraction were determined: yttrium ≥ terbium > gadolinium ≥ europium > cerium ≥ lanthanum. Further tests showed the optimal conditions, under the investigated ones, to extract yttrium with traces of terbium and cerium from sulfate leaching solutions. According to the experimental results, operating conditions of extractions were proposed in order to establish the guidelines for the following stripping and operation steps to recover rare earths selectively or at least in groups of them. A simulation of the proposed process was performed using a specific software in order to define the mass and energy balance of the entire recycling treatment of spent lamps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2840 - 2852
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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