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Webinar: Evaluating the Potential of REE Extraction from Coal and Shale Deposits (60 mins.)

  • May 12, 2023
  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Webinar
  • 142


Registration is closed
Evaluating the Potential of REE Extraction from Coal and Shale Deposits


Dr. Shikha Sharma
Professor of Geology
Director, IsoBioGeM Laboratory
Dept. of Geology & Geography, West Virginia University

PCPG will circulate a PDH certificate documenting registrant’s participation time, not to exceed 60 minutes, within 72 hours of the conclusion of the webinar.

Level:  General to Intermediate

Who should attend:  Students, Researchers, State and Federal agency employees, Industry employees

Webinar Overview: Due to the rising demand for Rare earth elements (REEs) that are critical for a wide range of modern technologies, including electronics, renewable energy, and defense applications, there is a growing interest in determining the viability of REE extraction from non-ore deposits. Coal and shale deposits contain relatively high concentrations of REEs, often associated with other minerals such as clay, apatite, pyrite, and organics. However, extracting REEs from these sources can be challenging due to the complex and variable nature of the mineralogy and the presence of other contaminants. The research in our IsoBioGeM lab at WVU focuses on exploring the potential of REE extraction from coals and shales through data analytics and hands-on laboratory experiments. Some preliminary results from ongoing research on bituminous coal and Marcellus shale from Appalachian Basin and Haynesville Shale from Permian Basin will be presented. We are utilizing the results from the sequential leaching experiments conducted in our lab to better understand the organic and mineral phase associations of light vs. heavy (LREE vs HREE) in different coals and shale samples. In addition, we are conducting experiments to develop physicochemical methods to enhance the extraction efficiency of REEs from the different phases. The results from our studies advance the research and development needed to determine the viability of these sources as commercial REE suppliers.

About our presenter:  Dr. Sharma is a Professor of Geology and Director of the IsoBioGeM lab at WVU. She is an Energy Geochemist and combines her expertise in geology and chemistry to understand the sustainable development of innovative, unconventional energy resources and energy transition technologies. Her current projects focus on underground carbon and hydrogen storage, enhanced geothermal systems, and recovery of critical and rare earth minerals from fossil fuel resources like shale/coal and their waste products.

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