Effects of acid concentration on the extraction of rare earth elements from South African Coal Fly Ash
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Coal is seen as a reliable and secure energy source in many countries around the world despite the development of a number of alternative sources of energy. A rise in global energy demand has led to an increase in coal consumption. Consequently, global coal fly ash (CFA) production has increased creating a pressing need for recycling and utilisation of coal fly ash. South Africa produces 50 million tons of ash per year from coal combustion with only about 10 % being utilised. There has been a rise in demand for REEs over the past decades due to their use in optics, automotive, electronics, energy, defence industries etc. These precious elements are known to be contained in CFA, making it a potential source.