LeCoq de Boisbaudran award 2018

The award is bestowed triennially, is sponsored by a company interested in rare earths, and is given for “an outstanding and long-lasting contribution to the science and/or technology of the f-elements”

Paul-Emile LeCoq de Boisbaudran, who was born in Cognac in 1838 and died in Paris in 1912, did not get any higher education (he did not seek any either). He nevertheless discovered three elements, gallium in 1875, samarium in 1879, and dysprosium in 1886. He was instrumental in crystal chemistry and in applying physical methods to chemistry, particularly electrolysis and spectroscopy; he built a systematic data bank of spectral lines for instance. He also had several winning controversies with Crookes.



Professor Koen Binnemans
Department of Chemistry
KU Leuven, Belgium

Solvometallurgy for rare earths

Solvometallurgy is the extraction of metals from ores, extractive waste, industrial process residues, production scrap and urban waste using non-aqueous solutions. Solvometallurgy differs from hydrometallurgy by the absence of a discrete water phase. In this lecture, the principles of solvometallurgy and its application to the extractive metallurgy of rare earths are presented. It is shown how rare earths can be recovered from end-of-life magnets and lamp phosphor waste by selective leaching with functionalised ionic liquids. Non-aqueous solvent extraction with two immiscible organic phases offers a great potential for the separation of mixtures of rare earths.