Mixer settler for REE separation research

Construction unit: A university in Malaysia

Production time: 2023

Main machine selection: Lab Mixer Settler

Mixed flux: 18L/H

Project Overview

Client: Malaysia XXX university

Application: Rare earth extraction and separation research

Number: 30 stages

Technology: provided by client

Customization: Yes

Brief introduction

This project is for one of the University in Malaysia.

Our mixer settler is the first solvent extraction equipment in Malaysia which used for research the Rare Earth Separation.

We customized this mixer settler unit for our client according to the technical flow.

What is REE ?

REE means Rare earth elements. It is a collective term for seventeen metallic elements in the periodic table, including lanthanide elements and scandium and yttrium. There are 250 types of rare earth minerals in nature

According to the atomic electronic layer structure and physicochemical properties of rare earth elements, as well as their symbiotic situation in minerals and the characteristics that different ion radii can produce different properties, seventeen rare earth elements are usually divided into two groups:

  1. Light rare earth elements include lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, and europium.
  2. Heavy rare earth elements include gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, yttrium, lutetium, scandium, and yttrium.


Classification by extraction and separation:

  1. Light rare earth (P204 weak acidity extraction) – lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium;
  2. Middle rare earth (P204 low acidity extraction) – samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, and dysprosium;
  3. Heavy rare earth elements (acidity extraction in P204) – holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, and yttrium.

How to extract and separate the REE ?

Today we will talk about the extraction and separation of Rare Earth Elements by Solvent Extraction.

The method of using organic solvents to extract and separate the extracted substance from an immiscible aqueous solution is called organic solvent liquid-liquid extraction method, abbreviated as solvent extraction method. It is a mass transfer process that transfers substances from one liquid phase to another. Solvent extraction technology can efficiently and quickly achieve the separation and enrichment of rare earth elements, and is widely used in the extraction, purification, and separation processes of rare earth elements.


The extraction process can generally be divided into three main stages: extraction, washing, and stripping.

The equipment we used for REE extraction and separation is mainly centrifugal extractor or mixer settler.

Three typical extractants we used for REE extraction and separation:

  1. Cationic extractants represented by acidic phosphate esters, such as P204 and P507
  2. Anion exchange liquid N1923 represented by amines
  3. Solvent extractants represented by neutral phosphates , such as TBP and P350

These extractants have high viscosity and specific gravity, making them difficult to separate from water. It is usually diluted with kerosene before use.


The application of solvent extraction in rare earth element separation mainly includes the following aspects:

  1. Extraction and recovery of rare earth elements: Solvent extraction technology can be used for the extraction and recovery of rare earth elements from ores, waste, and industrial wastewater. By selecting appropriate organic solvents and adjusting extraction conditions, rare earth elements can be effectively separated from complex raw materials, achieving recycling and utilization.
  2. Purification of rare earth elements: Solvent extraction technology can be used for the purification process of rare earth elements. Due to the similar properties and ionic radii between rare earth elements. Traditional physical methods are difficult to achieve high-purity separation of rare earth elements. Solvent extraction technology can selectively extract and separate target rare earth elements by selecting appropriate organic solvents and changing conditions, thereby achieving high-purity purification.
  3. Separation of rare earth element mixtures: Solvent extraction technology can also be used for the separation of rare earth element mixtures. By involving a reasonable solvent extraction process, the separation of multiple rare earth elements can be achieved, achieving the required purity requirements


Rare Earth is the National Strategic Resources of each country.

Our technology is prohibited to use in other countries.

If you want to do REE extraction and separation, you need to find our your own technology.

So the lab mixer settler or centrifugal extractor must be the first step.


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