A review of the occurrence and promising recovery methods of rare earth elements from coal and coal by-products

Wencai Zhang, Mohammad Rezaee, Abhijit Bhagavatula, Yonggai Li, John Groppo, Rick Honaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Previous research indicates that coal and coal by-products are a potential source of critical elements including rare earth elements (REE) with estimated amounts in the range of 50 million metric tons. Despite the proven presence of elevated REE concentrations, commercial extraction and recovery have not been realized. This article provides a review of the abundance, mode of occurrence, and recovery methods of rare earth elements in coal and coal by-products. The feasibility of using established REE extraction and recovery technologies is discussed along with issues associated with their use with coal resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-330
Number of pages36
JournalInternational Journal of Coal Preparation and Utilization
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

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