Rhodia develops innovative process recycling rare earths

Rhodia develops innovative process for recycling of rare earths

3:11 PM, 8th June 2011
Rhodia develops innovative process for recycling of rare earths
Rhodia R&D centre.

PARIS, FRANCE: A major player in earth-based formulations, Rhodia has developed a new process for the recovery and separation of rare earths contained in used low-energy light bulbs. The result of a range of research programmes conducted by Rhodia for several years on the life cycle of its products, this original process for the recycling of luminescent powders opens up fresh environmental and economic prospects at a pan-European level.

 

Once collected and sorted, used light bulbs are currently processed by specialized companies with a view to recycling the various components (including glass, metal, plastics and mercury). The luminescent powders, containing high concentrations of rare earths, are disposed of in landfills. With the new process developed by Rhodia, they can now be recycled at two of the group’s plants in France (Saint-Fons and La Rochelle).

 

“At a time when global demand for rare earths is experiencing growth rates above 6 per cent per year, this initiative opens the way to new sources of rare earths. This initiative will also help in conserving the use of this resource. The process should be operational by the first quarter of 2012 and allow 25 and 35 jobs directly related to this activity to be created within the group,” said Frédéric Carencotte, Industrial Director, Rhodia Rare Earth Systems.

© WOC News

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