Recovery of rare earth elements (Nd3+ and Dy3+) by using carbon-based adsorbents from spent tire rubber

M. Nogueira, I. Matos, M. Bernardo, L. A. C. Tarelho, A. M. Ferraria, A. M. Botelho do Rego, I. Fonseca, N. Lapa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two samples of spent tire rubber (rubber A and rubber B) were submitted to thermochemical conversion by pyrolysis process. A450, B450 and A900, B900 chars were obtained from rubber A and rubber B at 450 °C and 900 °C, respectively. The chars were then applied as recovery agents of Nd3+ and Dy3+ from aqueous solutions in mono and bicomponent solutions, and their performance was benchmarked with a commercial activated carbon. The chars obtained at 900 °C were the most efficient adsorbents for both elements with uptake capacities around 30 mg g-1. The chars obtained at 450 °C presented uptake capacities similar to the commercial carbon (≈ 11 mg g-1). A900 and B900 chars presented a higher availability of Zn ions that favored the ion exchange mechanism. It was found that Nd3+ and Dy3+ were adsorbed as oxides after Zn was released from silicate structures (Zn2SiO4). A900 char was further selected to be tested with Nd/Dy binary mixtures and it was found a trend to adsorb a slightly higher amount of Dy3+ due to its smaller ionic radius. The uptake capacity in bicomponent solutions was generally higher than for single component solutions due to the higher driving force triggered by the higher concentration gradient.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-461
Number of pages11
JournalWaste Management
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2024


  • Adsorption
  • Char
  • Circular economy
  • Rare earth elements
  • Tire rubber


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