. 24/7 Space News .
Recovering rare-earth elements from e-waste
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Jun 10, 2022

DARPA seeks to redefine tech for distributed, small-footprint recycling of critical elements.

DARPA has selected multiple teams of university researchers for the Recycling at the Point of Disposal (RPOD) program. RPOD will evaluate the technical feasibility of recovering multiple low-volume fraction critical elements present in end-of-life electronics hardware (e-waste). The program seeks to develop small-footprint platforms with greatly reduced energy consumption and waste generation in the extraction process.

The teams will develop novel extraction chemistries and explore practical limits of yield, extraction efficiency, and purity to recover a selective list of critical elements from a feedstock representative of commercial and Department of Defense (DoD) e-waste. The technology for both separation and coextraction of critical elements will ultimately be demonstrated in a benchtop hardware prototype.

"Contemporary techniques for the recovery of materials from e-waste have been built around extracting one or two elements," said Vishnu Sundaresan, RPOD program manager in DARPA's Defense Sciences Office.

"The elements identified as critical due to vulnerabilities in their supply chain are typically at a very small volume fraction - approximately 0.1% - 5% - and contemporary techniques are ill-suited for their recovery. RPOD will evaluate the feasibility of extracting up to seven low-volume fraction elements that would otherwise be lost as process waste in contemporary recovery techniques.

"RPOD performer teams are evaluating orthogonal approaches that have the potential to extract critical elements at a fraction of the energy compared to today's techniques without the generation of toxic liquid or gaseous byproducts. We are looking forward to working with the performers and the Defense Logistics Agency to develop practically viable extraction technologies for DoD's use."

The selected teams include Arizona State University, Iowa State University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the following approaches:

Arizona State University, teamed with TG Companies LLC, will develop an improved hydrometallurgical process based on a combination of selective leaching and electrowinning. Using a regenerative process, their approach aims to reduce the number of chemicals and associated waste that results from traditional processes.

Iowa State University will develop an innovative surface and interface engineering approach for driving alloy de-mixing to recover target materials of interest.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology will utilize selectivity and specificity of forming sulfides from a mixture of elements. Using electrochemical reduction, they aim to recover high-purity, critical materials.

In addition to the above university teams, the National Institute of Standards and Technology will explore the feasibility of acoustic-electric force balance for a novel metrology technique and explore the applicability of this metrology technique for recovery of multiple critical elements.

The teams will first model their novel recovery technology concepts and process models to understand and define practical limits of yield as well as develop databases of supply chain webs (i.e., networks of recycling and manufacturing processes that can reuse co-extracted materials without separating them). At the end of the program, the teams will demonstrate proof-of-concept hardware for recovery of critical elements and estimate the associated energy budget to understand the feasibility of fielding this type of technology.

If successful, the recovered stream from e-waste demonstrated by the technologies developed in RPOD can be scaled up to address supply chain disruptions of critical elements sourced or processed abroad that are essential for high performance DoD hardware.

Related Links
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

Irvine scientists observe effects of heat in materials with atomic resolution
Irvine CA (SPX) Jun 10, 2022
As electronic, thermoelectric and computer technologies have been miniaturized to nanometer scale, engineers have faced a challenge studying fundamental properties of the materials involved; in many cases, targets are too small to be observed with optical instruments. Using cutting-edge electron microscopes and novel techniques, a team of researchers at the University of California, Irvine, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other institutions has found a way to map phonons - vibrations ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Sidus Space working with NASA team for Extravehicular Activity Services Contract

Sierra Space to train astronauts at Kennedy Space Center for Orbital Reef

Left in the dust: The first golden age of citizen travel to outer space

Women in space analogues demonstrate more sustainable leadership

NASA fully loads Artemis 1 rocket with fuel in successful 'wet' rehearsal

Vega-C set for inaugural launch

Astra rocket fails to deliver 2 small satellites after launch, NASA says

Artemis II engine section moves to final assembly

Sols 3503-3504: And We're Back

NASA, Partners establish new research group for Mars Sample Return Program

How Perseverance averts collisions and zaps

The Aonia Terra region of Mars in colour

Shenzhou XIV taikonauts to conduct 24 medical experiments in space

Shenzhou XIV astronauts transporting supplies into space station

Three Chinese astronauts arrive at space station

China sends three astronauts to complete space station

Solid rocket boosters will support existing ULA customers and Amazon's Project Kuiper

DXC Boosts Connectivity for Space Exploration

Maine looks to grow space economy, for students, research and business

French astronaut Pesquet calls for European space independence

Recovering rare-earth elements from e-waste

UVA researchers harness the power of a new solid-state thermal technology

UCLA engineers create single-step, all-in-one 3D printing method to make robotic materials

Moon sculptures, NFTs at futuristic Art Basel fair

Astronomers discover a multiplanet system nearby

To find a planet, look for the signatures of planet formation

New clues suggest how Hot Jupiters form

Asteroid samples contain 'clues to origin of life': Japan scientists

NASA's Europa Clipper Mission Completes Main Body of the Spacecraft

Gemini North Telescope Helps Explain Why Uranus and Neptune Are Different Colors

Bern flies to Jupiter

Traveling to the centre of planet Uranus

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.