Characterization and Recovery of Critical Metals from Municipal Solid Waste Incineration Ashes

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Exploratory Topics
Atlanta, Georgia
Project Term:
05/14/2021 - 05/13/2023

Technology Description:

Lack of diverse supplies for critical materials, such as rare earth elements (REEs), have prompted researchers to explore new sources and develop environmentally friendly technologies for critical metal extraction, processing, and manufacturing. Municipal solid waste (MSW), a large solid waste stream that may constitute the largest resource for REEs and other critical materials, offers an alternative. MSW incineration ashes, however, pose operational and financial challenges. Georgia Institute of Technology will develop a closed-loop, integrated, scalable, and environmentally friendly waste management and resource recovery system. The system allows for maximum recovery of REEs and other critical metals, production of additional salable products, minimal production of secondary waste, and high immobilization of heavy metal contaminants.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Douglas Wicks
Project Contact:
Dr. Yuanzhi Tang
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Savannah River National Laboratory

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