Dr Harry Watts
- MRIWA PhD Scholarship Alumnus
- 2021 MRIWA PhD Graduate
Feasibility of leaching Rare Earth phosphates with concurrent precipitation of rare earth oxalates
The University of Western Australia
Western Australia is rich in Rare Earth mineral resources, but the standard processes used to liberate these valuable and industrially important metals from ore minerals have high demands for energy, water and other resources, and can create environmentally harmful by-products.
- Organic acids present a feasible and more environmentally-benign alternative to other reagents currently used to liberate Rare Earth elements from ore
- The build-up of chemical reaction products on the surface of ore minerals during processing can significantly reduce the efficiency of Rare Earth extraction
- This detrimental build-up can be reduced by use of an ester compound or by continuous agitation of the ore minerals and reagents during processing
Benefits to WA
The chemical processing methods identified through Harry’s research can be adapted to increase the extraction efficiency of a range of ore types, and could be further developed to help support the emerging Critical Minerals sector in Western Australia. Harry has used the skills and knowledge developed through his PhD studies to establish a private research company based in WA, and is working to apply his findings to improving the minerals industry.
Link to thesis
Harry’s thesis can be accessed from the UWA Library via the link below:
Page was last reviewed 15 June 2022