Fort Lauderdale, FL – September 3, 2015
Periodic Products Inc. today released preliminary results of a joint Florida Industry and Phosphate Research Institute (FIPR) study confirming that the Company’s technology successfully recovered rare earth elements from waste by-products produced during fertilizer manufacturing.
Rare earth elements are currently used in the manufacture of cell phones, hybrid engines, specialty magnets, computer hard drives, and an increasing number of electronic components and other consumer products. Rare earth elements are also vital raw materials for the production of military equipment, and have been designated as critical materials for domestic manufacturing by the US Government.
The study, which was co-funded by FIPR – a scientific research center created by the Florida State Legislature – showed that the amount of rare earth elements recovered from waste using the Company’s technology equaled that currently obtained from raw ore. Further, two commercially important rare earth elements – neodymium and lanthanum – were isolated in high concentrations from the waste recovered by the Company’s technology. Industry experts have estimated that approximately 90,000 tons of rare earth elements are discarded with various phosphate mining waste by-products annually.
When the technology is fully deployed, the Company believes approximately 60,000 tons of rare earth elements can be recovered annually from phosphate waste. That figure represents nearly nine times the current domestically mined production level.
According to Dr. Joseph Laurino, president and CEO of Periodic Products, “These waste by-products represent a viable repository of rare earth elements never before accessible to the mining industry.”
“The financial and environmental costs associated with recovering rare earth elements from waste is significantly less than the respective costs of obtaining these elements from raw mined ore,” Laurino adds.
David McLaren, vice-president of business development at Periodic Products, explained that previous recovery attempts were not commercially viable. “Due to various limitations, such as high production cost, low efficiency, impact on fertilizer yield and purity, and the inability to scale up the process, recovery of these substances was just not possible,” said McLaren. “Our technology eliminates all of these limitations while significantly reducing the environmental impact of rare earth element production.”
According to McLaren, the Company’s technology will aid efforts to achieve domestic rare earth element independence, a directive of both the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Defense.
Detailed results of this study will be presented by Dr. Joseph Laurino at the 30th Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration & Dreyer Conference at the Lakeland Center in Lakeland, Florida on October 8, 2015.