FIPR Institute Awarded Collaborative Research Funding from Critical Materials Institute

Dr. Patrick Zhang describes the FIPR Institute’s project on rare earth element extraction from Florida phosphate materials to Critical Material Institute (CMI) workshop attendees. FIPR Institute hosted this workshop in 2016 as part of its ongoing, collaborative research with CMI.

Dr. Patrick Zhang, Director of Mining and Beneficiation at the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute (FIPR Institute), received $150,000 in collaborative research funding from the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) for work on recovery of rare earth elements and high-value phosphorus from phosphoric acid sludge.

This will fund a new project associated with previous FIPR Institute and CMI research “Recovery of Rare Earths and Uranium from Phosphate.” When asked about the impact of the new work, Dr. Zhang stated that it has “great potential for the phosphate industry and rare earth element recovery efforts.”

Technologies developed to recover rare earth elements from phosphate fertilizer materials would help alleviate the supply problem for the United States and provide added industrial value to Florida phosphate mining.

Florida has low concentrations of rare earth elements present in the high volume of minerals mined by the phosphate industry for production of phosphate fertilizer. CMI and FIPR Institute are working to develop economically feasible extraction methods for rare earth elements that do not impede the phosphate fertilizer manufacturing process.

CMI is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Innovation Hub whose Team Members include FIPR Institute as well as four national laboratories, several universities, and more than a dozen industry partners. Ames Laboratory operates CMI for the DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office. CMI enables innovation focused on clean energy technologies. CMI research is focused on materials important to national security, which includes rare earth elements and lithium, cobalt, graphite, manganese, indium, gallium and tellurium.

The FIPR Institute is a world-class research institute of Florida Polytechnic University. Located in Bartow, Florida, the FIPR Institute specializes in phosphate-related issues and industrial applied science and engineering, as well as a broadened research program including non-phosphate topics such as energy and the mining and processing of minerals other than phosphate.

Kate Kaste
Communications and Marketing Officer
FIPR Institute, Florida Polytechnic University