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Element Case Studies: Rare Earth Elements

Abstract : The growing demand for strategic resources such as rare earth elements (REEs) for development of modern technologies has spurred an increase in mining activities and consequently a release of REEs into the environment, posing a potential threat to human health. Phytoextraction or phytomining, regarded as an in situ and low-cost means to use the growth and harvest of hyperaccumulator plants that take up high concentrations of metals in their shoots, allowing metal removal from contaminated soil (phytoextraction) or commercial production of high value metals (phytomining). In this chapter, we review the discovery of REE hyperaccumulators worldwide, focusing on the fern species Dicranopteris linearis (synonym D. dichotoma) that preferentially takes up light REEs and Phytolacca americana that preferentially incorporates heavy REEs. Although less well understood, mechanisms of REE uptake, translocation, and distribution in hyperaccumulator plants are discussed. Finally, we analyze the challenge of improving REE yield by phytomining, and taking D. linearis and P. americana as examples, estimate the phytomining potential for REEs using these species based on their biomass production, REE concentrations in the ash and current market prices for REEs.
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https://hal.univ-lorraine.fr/hal-03203453
Contributor : Marie-Odile Simonnot <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 6:31:07 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 9:48:01 AM

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Chang Liu, Ming Yuan, Wen-Shen Liu, Mei-Na Guo, Hong-Xiang Zheng, et al.. Element Case Studies: Rare Earth Elements. A. van der Ent; A.J.M. Baker; G. Echevarria; M.O. Simonnot; J.L. Morel. Agromining: farming for metals, extracting unconventional resources using plants. 2nd Edition,, Springer Nature Switzerland AG, pp.471-483, 2021, 978-3-030-58903-5. ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-58904-2_24⟩. ⟨hal-03203453⟩

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