Rare earth elements (REE) include the seventeen chemical elements beginning with lanthanum, element number 57 in the periodic table, up to and including lutetium, element number 71, as well as yttrium and scandium, which have similar properties. Due to their unique magnetic and other properties (e.g., the ability to withstand demagnetization at very high temperatures), REE are widely used in a variety of commercial and military applications, such as hybrid cars, wind power turbines, cell phones, computer hard drives, and Department of Defense (DOD) precision-guided munitions. For example, a Prius hybrid car contains a kilo of neodymium in its motor and more than ten kilos of lanthanum in its battery. The permanent magnets used to manufacture a 3-megawatt wind turbine contain about two tons of rare earth.
Rare earth materials require a number of processing stages before they can be used in an application:
Most rare earth material processing now occurs in China. In 2009, China produced about 97 percent of rare earth oxides and it has announced to cut the rare earth export dramatically in coming years. To reduce the dependence on China supply, other countries have taken drastic actions to re-start the production of rare earth. In U.S., for example, the House has passed the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010 (H.R. 6160) and the Senate will soon vote on a similar bill (S-4031) to invigorate support for research and development in the field of rare earths. The United States Government Accounting Office (GAO) has published a report that details the need of rare earth materials in the defense supply chain. The Department of Energy has emphasized the importance of rare earths to clean energy technologies in its recent report entitled Critical Materials Strategy. Officials of the rare earth company that owns the Mountain Pass mine in California expect that by 2012 it will achieve full-scale production of mining and separating cerium, lanthanum, praseodymium, and neodymium oxides. However, the Mountain Pass facility does not currently have the full capability needed to refine the oxides into pure rare earth metals.
Rare earth processing methods commonly used in China have significant impacts on the environment. In order to meet the growing global demand for rare earth materials and products for clean energy, energy independence and defense applications in general and revitalize the domestic REE business in particular, new and more cost-effective and environmentally sustainable techniques must be developed and evaluated. The proposed conference will provide a timely venue to bring together scientists, engineers, professors, and students to report and discuss challenges and recent progress in REE related research and development with an emphasis on physical and extractive metallurgy involved in the separation and refining stages of REE and define future development activities and directions.
The conference will address the multi-disciplinary nature of REE processing and will attempt to bring together those who have expertise in specific aspects of REE mineralogy, physical and physicochemical separation, digestion, extraction, interfacial and bulk diffusion, novel chemical/reagents, waste water treatment/recycling and other technologies related to REE purification and extraction.
Dr. Daniel Tao, University of Kentucky, USA
Dr. Rick Honaker, University of Kentucky, USA
Dr. Keith A. Delaney, Rare Earth Industry and Technology Association, USA
Dr. Brent Hiskey, The University of Arizona, USA
Dr. Ram Darolia, GE Aviation (Retired), USA
International Advisory Committee
Prof. Corby Anderson, Colorado School of Mines, USA
Prof. Ruan Chi, Wuhan Institute of Technology, China
Dr. Keith A. Delaney, REITA, USA
Dr. Karl Geshcnieider, Ames National Laboratory
Prof. James Hedrick, Hedrick Consultants, USA
Prof. Brent Hiskey, University of Arizona, USA
Dr. John Hryn, Argonne National Laboratory, USA
Prof. Xiaowei Huang, General Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals (GRINM), China
Dr. Eduardo Kamenetzk, Cytec Industries Inc., USA
Dr. R. William McCallum, Ames Laboratory
Prof. Jan Miller, University of Utah, USA.
Prof. Atsushi Muramatsu, Tohoku University, Japan
Dr. Kimihiro Ozaki, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and technology, Japan
Prof. Jon J. Kellar, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, USA
Dr. B.K. Parekh, University of Kentucky, USA
Prof. Zheng Qi, General Research Institute For NonFerrous Metals (GRINM), China
Dr. S.A. Ravishankar, Cytec Industries Inc., USA
Prof. Junji Shibata, Kansai University, Japan
Dr. Sam Sinha
Dr. Bradley Van Gosen, U.S. Geological Survey
Prof. Shengming Xu, Tsinghua University, China
Prof. Zhenghe Xu, University of Alberta, Canada
Prof. Chunhua Yan, Peking University, China
Prof. R.-H. Yoon, Virginia Tech, USA
Prof. Courtney Young, Montana Tech, USA
Dr. Patrick Zhang, Florida Institute of Phosphate Research, USA
Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962, that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.
The format of the weeklong research conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe that the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.
All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording/photographing of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.
Engineering Conferences International
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San Diego, California
San Diego, California's second largest city is known worldwide for its spectacular climate, 70 miles of pristine beaches, and attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, Sea World, San Diego Wild Animal Park, and Legoland. Other highlights would include sightseeing in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, Coronado, Little Italy or Balboa Park, the largest urban cultural park in the United States. In the historic Gaslamp Quarter, consisting of 16½-blocks around Fourth and Fifth Avenues, grand Victorian-era buildings are home to more than 100 of the city's finest restaurants, 35 pubs and nightclubs and 100 retails shops, as well as theaters, art galleries, offices and residential/work lofts. When the sun sets, this downtown neighborhood attracts thousands of diners, shoppers, theatergoers, and nightclub patrons.
Bahia Resort Hotel and Conference Center
The Bahia Resort Hotel and Conference Center is situated on a 14-acre private peninsula on the west shore of Mission Bay and is surrounded by the waters of Mission Bay in San Diego, California. The hotel has its own sandy beach and marina. It is only four blocks from the Pacific Ocean. Downtown San Diego is eight miles away. Tennis, a Junior-Olympic sized swimming pool, water sport lessons, and both water sports equipment and bicycle rentals are available. Complimentary beach cabanas are available along the secluded beach. Rental rates for water sports equipment are listed at http://www.bahiahotel.com/activities/watersports/
There is free high-speed Internet access in all guest rooms. All accommodations include refrigerators and coffeemakers and some have private balconies. The hotel's fitness center has cardio and strength-training equipment.
Bird watchers have an excellent opportunity to observe a plethora of sea birds include the rare and federally protected Least Tern, the Brown Pelican, and the Light-footed Clapper Rail.
The hotel is close to the San Diego International Airport (10 miles, or approximately 15 minutes) and there many local attractions such as Sea World (one of the most popular marine zoological parks in the world), Balboa Park, the San Diego Zoo, Space Theater, Old Town, museums, missions and unique shops. Mission Bay is a major aquatic park with 45 acres of water recreation. Outside of San Diego is the Wild Animal Park, an 1800 acre sanctuary which permits animals to roam freely in natural surroundings. Nearby, of course, is Mexico and San Diego is approximately one hour away from Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. Rental cars are reasonably priced in California.
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