Advanced Sorbent Structure Recovery of REEs, Precious Metals and Other Valuable Metals from Geothermal Waters and Its Associated Technoeconomics


This work evaluates, develops and demonstrates flexible, scalable mineral extraction technology for geothermal brines based upon solid phase sorbent materials with a specific focus upon rare earth elements (REEs). The selected organic and inorganic sorbent materials demonstrated high performance for collection of trace REEs, precious and valuable metals beyond commercially available sorbents. This report details the organic and inorganic sorbent uptake, performance, and collection efficiency results for La, Eu, Ho, Ag, Cu and Zn, as well as the characterization of these select sorbent materials.

The report also contains estimated costs from an in-depth techno-economic analysis of a scaled up separation process. The estimated financial payback period for installing this equipment varies between 3.3 to 5.7 years depending on the brine flow rate of the geothermal resource.

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  Submission Name Resources Submitted Status

Additional Info

DOE Project Name: Recovery of Rare Earths, Precious Metals and Other Critical Materials from Geothermal Waters with Advanced Sorbent Structures
DOE Project Number: FY15 AOP 2516
DOE Project Lead: Holly Thomas
DOI: 10.15121/1360763
Last Updated: over a year ago
Data from May, 2017
Submitted May 26, 2017


Pacific Northwest National Laboratory



Publicly accessible License 


Shane Addleman
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Wilaiwan Chouyyok
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Daniel Palo
Barr Engineering Co.
Brad M. Dunn
Barr Engineering Co.
Michelle Brann
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Gary Billingsley
Star Minerals Group Ltd.
Darren Johnson
University of Oregon
Kara M. Nell
University of Oregon


geothermal, Sorbents, Nano, rare earth elements, REEs, precious metals, mineral recovery, green mining, Inorganic sorbent removal efficiency, Organic Sorbent removal efficiency, composite thin film, Technoeconomics, Lanthanum, Europium, Holmium, Silver, Copper, Zinc


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