Recovery of rare earths from glass polishing waste for the production of aluminium-rare earth alloys

Chenna Rao Borra*, Thijs JH Vlugt, Yongxiang Yang, Jeroen Spooren, Peter Nielsen, Murugaiyan Amirthalingam, S. Erik Offerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


The circular economy demands waste utilization for the production of high-value products, and this requires the development of novel processing routes. In this study, rare earth (La and Ce) oxides were completely (>99%) recovered from polishing waste by a combined novel reductive acid leaching and alkali treatment process. About 70% of rare earths were dissolved during the first leaching step. The undissolved rare earth compounds are converted to oxides/hydroxides by alkali treatment and dissolved in the acid solution – the 2nd leaching step – for the complete recovery of rare earths. The recovered rare earth oxides were used for producing in-situ high-value Al-La-Ce alloys with fused salt electrolysis. Mechanical properties of our Al-La-Ce alloys are similar to the known high temperature Al-Ce alloys. This development of new alloys by our novel process helps in utilization of both overproduced primary La and Ce oxides as well as La and Ce recovered from polishing waste.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105766
Number of pages8
JournalResources, Conservation and Recycling
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Aluminium-rare earth alloy
  • Glass polishing waste
  • Leaching
  • Rare earths
  • Waste utilization


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