A New Method to Extract and Separate Rare Earth Elements

A new method improves the extraction and separation of rare earth elements—a group of 17 elements critical for technologies such as smart phones and electric car batteries—from unconventional sources. New research led by scientists at Penn State and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) demonstrates how a protein isolated from bacteria can provide a more environmentally friendly way to extract these metals and to separate them from other metals and from each other.

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