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Review and new life cycle assessment for rare earth production from bastnäsite, ion adsorption clays and lateritic monazite
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9560-3132
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2020 (English)In: Resources, Conservation and Recycling, ISSN 0921-3449, E-ISSN 1879-0658, Vol. 155, article id 104675Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Rare Earth Elements (REEs) are one of the most important–albeit critical–commodities for our green technologies. However, there is a general perception that REEs are produced using mining and processing techniques that are unsustainable. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is the most widely accepted methodology to evaluate the environmental impacts of rare earth oxide (REO) production. This article aims to provide a synthesis of the currently existing LCA studies on REEs using two strategies. Firstly, an overview of published LCA results of REO production. Secondly, a detailed LCA using the best available life cycle inventories (LCIs) in order to: i). evaluate the state-of-the-art LCI for this sector ii). Understand better the impacts related to each of the three main production routes and iii). Contribute to the development of a preliminary benchmark for the sector. The analysis of the published LCA results reveal that the three main methodological issues with published LCAs are data gaps, allocation, and waste management. The dominating contributor to the global warming potential of the production of REOs in all two of the three routes is chemical extraction and separation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier B.V. , 2020. Vol. 155, article id 104675
Keywords [en]
Cradle-to-gate, Life cycle assessment, Life cycle impact assessment, Life cycle inventory, Rare earth elements, Environmental impact, Global warming, Phosphate minerals, Rare earths, Waste management, Global warming potential, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), Processing technique, Rare earth elements (REEs), Rare earth production, Life cycle, bastnasite, lanthanide, metal, monazite, rare earth oxide, unclassified drug, adsorption, benchmarking, laterite, life cycle analysis, rare earth element, trace element, Article, ecotoxicity, environmental factor, environmental impact assessment, environmental management, environmental radioactivity, greenhouse effect, ion adsorption clay, radioactive waste, solvent extraction
National Category
Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-267942DOI: 10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104675Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85077361883OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-267942DiVA, id: diva2:1421176
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QC 20200402

Available from: 2020-04-02 Created: 2020-04-02 Last updated: 2020-04-02Bibliographically approved

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Joyce, Peter James

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