Rare earth elements, also called technology metals, are a hot topic because they power our high tech
world. They're the elements that have unique magnetic, phosphorescent
and catalytic properties making possible electronics from smartphones to advanced
defense systems. The elements are not especially rare but they are difficult
to mine because concentrated deposits are scarce. However, rare earth elements
have turned up in acid mine drainage.
A team at West Virginia University, led by Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the
West Virginia Water Research Institute, is now studying the concentrations of rare
earth elements at 120 acid mine drainage treatment sites throughout West Virginia,
Pennsylvania and Ohio.
For more information, contact Ziemkiewicz at 304-293-6958.