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Techno-Economic Analysis of Rare Earth Value Recovery

Purdue Environmental & Ecological Engineering (EEE) Professor John W. Sutherland delivered a webinar titled "Techno-Economic Analysis of Value Recovery Opportunities from End-of-Life Products" as part of the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) webinar series in April 2017. Techno-economic analysis (TEA) is a decision-support tool that helps evaluate the economic feasibility and identify major cost drivers that hinder commercialization of new technologies.

Sutherland is working with graduate students Hongyue Jin and Mayank Gupta on the application of TEA to several on-going CMI projects. Their efforts have included working with collaborators to characterize process mass flows, energy/utility inputs and outputs, sizing major equipment, and estimating capital and production costs as a process is transitioned from lab- to industrial-scale. Also discussed was risk assessment, which is a vital consideration when there are substantial uncertainties in the market and technology.

The webinar discussed the basics of TEA and provided examples where TEA is being applied to CMI projects.

The TEA effort is supported by CMI. CMI is an Energy Innovation Hub funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Advanced Manufacturing Office.

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