Rare earth metals including yttrium and europium are one of several critical raw materials, the use of which ensures the development of the so-called high technology. The possibility of their recovery in Europe is limited practically only to secondary materials such as phosphogypsum and electronic waste. The article presents the results of our research concerning the development of recovery technology of yttrium and europium from luminophore CRT used lamps. It describes the principle of separation of elements and the test results of cleaning the concentrate. It was shown that the costs of preparing the concentrate according to the proposed technology are lower than the phosphogypsum processing technology and the composition of the resulting product does not contain hazardous substances.
Using methods of physical material studies (scanning electron microscopy and micro X-ray spectral analysis), a study was carried out with focus on alteration of structure and phase composition in surface layers of Al-Si alloy (silumin АК10М2N) treated in electroexplosive alloying with a multiphase plasma jet formed in the process of aluminum foil explosion and carrying particles of Y2O3 weighted powder portion. It was revealed that a porous surface layer with non-homogeneously distributed alloying elements (silicon, yttrium) in it is formed in any conditions of electroexplosive alloying of silumin. Thickness of the modified layer is different, varying 50 to 160 µm, depending on the zone to be examined. The modified surface consists basically of Al, Si and Y. Yttrium in the modified layer is thought to be an indirect evidence of better physical and mechanical properties of the surface layer in comparison with the base material.
Potential sources of rare earth elements are sought after in the world by many researchers. Coal ash obtained at high temperatures (HTA ) is considered among these sources. The aim of the study was an evaluation of the suitability of the high temperature ash (HTA ) formed during the combustion of bituminous coal from the Ruda beds of the Pniówek coal mine as an potential resource of REY . The 13 samples of HTA obtained from the combustion of metabituminous (B) coal were analyzed. The analyses showed that the examined HTA samples varied in their chemical composition. In accordance with the chemical classification of HTA , the analyzed ash samples were classified as belonging to the following types: sialic, sialocalcic, sialoferricalcic, calsialic, fericalsialic, ferisialic. The research has shown that the rare earth elements content (REY ) in examined HTA samples are characterized by high variability. The average REY content in the analyzed ashes was 2.5 times higher than the world average (404 ppm). Among rare earth elements, the light elements (LREY ) were the most abundant. Heavy elements (HREY ) had the lowest share. A comparison of the content of the individual rare earth elements in HTA samples and in UCC showed that it was almost 20 times higher than in UCC. The distribution patterns of REY plotted for all samples within their entire range were positioned above the reference level and these curves were of the M-H or M-L type. The data presented indicate, that the analyzed ash samples should be regarded as promising REY raw materials. Considering the fact that in 7 out of 13 analyzed ash samples the REY content was higher than 800 ppm, REY recovery from these ashes may prove to be economic.
Isothermal hot compression experiments were carried out using the Gleeble-1500D thermal mechanical simulator. The flow stress of the Cu-1%Zr and Cu-1%Zr-0.15%Y alloys was studied at hot deformation temperature of 550°C, 650°C, 750°C, 850°C, 900°C and the strain rate of 0.001 s–1, 0.01 s–1, 0.1 s–1, 1 s–1, 10 s–1. Hot deformation activation energy and constitutive equations for two kinds of alloys with and without yttrium addition were obtained by correlating the flow stress, strain rate and deformation temperature. The reasons for the change of hot deformation activation energy of the two alloys were analyzed. Dynamic recrystallization microstructure evolution for the two kinds of alloys during hot compression deformation was analyzed by optical and transmission electron microscopy. Cu-1%Zr and Cu-1%Zr-0.15%Y alloys exhibit similar behavior of hot compression deformation. Typical dynamic recovery occurs during the 550-750°C deformation temperature, while dynamic recrystallization (DRX) occurs during the 850-900°C deformation temperature. High Zr content and the addition of Y significantly improved Cu-1%Zr alloy hot deformation activation energy. Compared with hot deformation activation energy of pure copper, hot deformation activation energy of the Cu-1%Zr and Cu-1%Zr-0.15%Y alloys is increased by 54% and 81%, respectively. Compared with hot deformation activation energy of the Cu-1%Zr alloy, it increased by 18% with the addition of Y. The addition of yttrium refines grain, advances the dynamic recrystallization critical strain point and improves dynamic recrystallization.
Rare earth elements are characterized by the high risk of their shortage resulting from limited resources. From this reason REE constitute a group of elements of special importance for the European Union. The aim of this study was to evaluate ashes from the burning of coal in fluidized bed boilers as an potential source of REY . Twelve samples of fly ash and bottom ash taken from power plants in Poland were analyzed. Tests have shown that despite some differences in chemical composition, the fly ash and bottom ash from fluidized beds could be classified as the calsialic, low acid type. It was found that fly ashes contained more REY than bottom ashes. Among REY , the light elements (LREY ) had the highest share in the total REY content in both fly ashes and bottom ashes. Heavy elements (HREY ) had the lowest content. The normalized curves plotted for fly ash samples within almost all of their entire range were positioned above the reference level and these curves were of the L-M or H-M type. The content of the individual REY in these samples was even twice as high as in UCC . The normalized curves plotted for bottom ash samples were classified as of L, L-M or H type. They were positioned on the reference level or above it. The content of the individual REY in these samples was the same or up to about 4 times lower than in UCC. It was found that the content of critical elements and of excessive elements in fly ash and bottom ash differs, which has an effect on the value of the outlook coefficient Coutl, and which is always higher in the case of fly ash than in the case of bottom ash. Nevertheless, the computed values of the outlook coefficient Coutl allow both fly ash and bottom ash from fluidized beds to be regarded as promising REY raw materials.