American Resources confirmed its plans to build a 2-kilowatt mobile electrolytic cell rare earth (REE) processing plant. It did not release the location where will the plant will be hosted, but the coal miner said the plant is part of its overall mission to bring its REE process chain technology program to a commercial scale. Project managers were, at press time, being interviewed, and the company was working to secure space for its design and construction work for the project.
Officials said the design for the facility, which is expected to cost less than $1 million, will have its foundations in analyses utilizing electrolysis of fly ash from a representative Ohio facility that had particle sizes of < 75μm, which would subsequently lead “to the production of hydrogen in the cathode of the cell and the extraction of 65% Yttrium (Y), 59% Dysprosium (Dy), and 76% Ytterbium (Yb)” at the plant.
“This facility represents a novel approach for the revalorization of coal, coal waste and coal byproducts such as fly ash, utilizing coal electrolytic cell (CEC) technology for the production of REE concentrate, carbon, purified fly ash and hydrogen,” said officials, adding that, because of its mobility, it will also be able to take it to other sites to both process and evaluate specific fly ash and coal-based feedstocks.
Construction is expected to take about six months. The miner is hoping it will be ready to come online by third or fourth quarter of 2021.