American Resources Corp expands research with Purdue University to recycle critical rare-earth elements

May 11, 2021

The partnership builds on a previous agreement to advance a Purdue-developed technology of refining rare-earth elements purification technology to recycle permanent magnets and lithium-ion batteries (Courtesy Linda Wang, Purdue’s Maxine Spencer Nichols Professor of Chemical Engineering/Purdue University)

American Resources Corporation, a supplier of raw materials to the infrastructure marketplace, headquartered in Fishers, Indiana, USA, has announced an expansion of its existing sponsored research programme with Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. The agreement will focus on advancing the purification of critical and rare-earth elements (REEs).

The partnership builds on a previous agreement to advance a Purdue-developed technology to refine rare-earth elements purification technology to recycle permanent magnets and lithium-ion batteries pulled from sources such as hard disk drives, electric vehicles and wind turbines. The technology was developed in the laboratory of Linda Wang, Purdue’s Maxine Spencer Nichols Professor of Chemical Engineering.

Given the early success of its agreement, American Resources entered into the expanded agreement with the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization to further refine the ligand assisted displacement (LAD) chromatography process and technology to include the recycling, reprocessing and purification of critical rare-earth elements from lithium-ion batteries, coal waste and byproducts.

The new agreement builds on the acquisition of certain licenses associated with the Purdue-developed technology to separate and purify rare-earth elements using LAD chromatography, technology specific to the recycling of permanent magnets for rare-earth elements.

“Purdue has been a fantastic, innovative and commercially driven partner to work with,” stated Mark Jensen, American Resources CEO. “The rare-earth element purification technology that we are commercialising is extremely exciting, and we are both on the same page in terms of getting it to the market as efficiently as possible. Given the early success of our existing research programme, it made sense to expand the programme in short order to include the feedstocks that we are most focused on, such as lithium-ion batteries and coal-based waste and byproducts.”

“Collectively, our process chain of technology and feedstocks enables us to help restore the domestic supply chain of these critical materials in the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly and beneficial ways ever developed,” he continued. “We believe this is where the US needs to drive innovation and compete with China in this market. The team at Purdue is an important part of this, and we look forward to pushing aggressively forward with commercialisation of the technology and showcasing the low cost and environmentally sensitive technology.”

Rare-earth elements include the fifteen elements in the lanthanide series, plus scandium (Sc) and yttrium (Y). They are essential ingredients for magnets, metal alloys, polishing powders, catalysts, ceramics and phosphors, which are important for high technology and clean energy applications. The global REE market is reportedly approximately $4 billion annually and is growing at 8% per year.

American Resources began staffing up to develop a supply chain and aftermarket for certain end-of-life products with several partners to source waste permanent magnets and lithium-ion batteries specific to this portion of its feedstocks and rare-earth elements “Capture – Process – Purify” process chain. These end-of-life products would include electric/hybrid vehicles, e-bikes, wind turbines, NMR machines, MRI machines and certain industrial motors.

In the latest issue of PM Review…

Download PDF

Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • From powder modification to rejuvenation: Fluidised Bed Reactors in metal powder production and Additive Manufacturing
  • Retech: Enabling the atomisation of reactive and refractory alloys at substantially higher levels of productivity and lower cost
  • Sustainability in Powder Metallurgy: Highlights from the 41st Hagen Symposium
  • Innovations from Japan’s Powder Metallurgy industry: award winners highlight novel automotive and healthcare applications

The latest news from the world of metal powders, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of PM Review, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

Discover our magazine archive…

The free-to-access PM Review magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of Powder Metallurgy from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading PM part manufacturers, metal powder manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


Browse the archive


Looking for PM production equipment, metal powders, R&D support and more?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our
advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PM Review magazine.

  • Powders & materials
  • Powder process, classification & analysis
  • PM products
  • Atomisers & powder production technology
  • Compaction presses, tooling & ancillaries
  • Sintering equipment & ancillaries
  • Post-processing
  • Consulting & toll sintering
View online
Share via
Copy link