The environmental life cycle impacts of conceptual rare earth production processes were assessed. An average greenhouse gas emission of 65.4 kg CO2e/kg was estimated for the 15 rare earths produced from monazite, ranging from 21.3 kg CO2e/kg for europium to 197.9 kg CO2e/kg for yttrium. The average water consumption of rare earth production was 11,170 kg/kg ranging from 3,803 kg/kg for samarium and gadolinium to 29,902 kg/kg for yttrium. The average gross energy requirement for production was 917 MJ/kg, ranging from 311 MJ/kg for samarium and gadolinium to 3,401 MJ/kg for yttrium. Given the low concentration of HREE in monazite, the high impacts across all categories for yttrium and other HREE are not necessarily representative of HREE sourced from all rare earth resources. Further studies into other rare earth mineral resources (e.g. bastnasite and xenotime) are recommended to improve the overall understanding of environmental impacts from rare earth production.
|Title of host publication||REWAS 2016|
|Subtitle of host publication||Towards Materials Resource Sustainability|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
- Greenhouse gas
- Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
- Rare Earth Elements