AERC Recycling Partners with Firm to Reclaim Rare Earth Metals

Company will work with Global Tungsten and Powders Corp. to reclaim rare earth metals from fluorescent lamps.

September 25, 2012
Recycling Today Staff

AERC Recycling Solutions has signed a partnership agreement with Global Tungsten & Powders Corp. (GTP)  to recover rare earth metals from spent fluorescent lamps. The agreement allows for GTP to extract rare earth metals from the fluorescent lamps, as well as identify new sources of rare earth metals.

AERC and GTP started working together in 2008 to develop a process to recover the rare earth materials from fluorescent lamps. According to a release, AERC’s mercury retort process provides a partnership opportunity for GTP to work with and gather samples of retorted phosphor powder. Fluorescent lamps require mercury in conjunction with phosphor powder to illuminate and create light. However, the mercury must be removed prior to recovering the rare earth metals. AERC claims it operates one of the few mercury retort operations in the United States. The company also notes that the AERC facility is less than 150 miles from GTP’s Towanda, Pa., facility.

“AERC is very excited to partner with GTP to recover the rare earth metals from recycled fluorescent lamps. We are always looking for ways to improve our processes, recycle more efficiently and find new uses for our recycled materials. The recovery of the rare earth metals is one more way to lead the way with best practices in the industry and contribute to the reuse of rare materials,” says Lindsay Kissel, vice president of sales for AERC.

Andreas Lackner, president and CEO of GTP says, “GTP is pleased to be working with AERC to take the recycling of fluorescent lamps further. The recycling of rare earth metals found in used fluorescent lamps will help GTP minimize the uncertainty surrounding the supply of these critical materials. Like AERC, GTP understands that, in addition to being good for the environment recycling is also good for business.”

In addition to its Towanda facility, GTP operates a manufacturing facility Bruntal, Czech Republic.

AERC owns and operates five wholly owned R2/RIOS certified facilities. They are located in Allentown, Pa; Ashland, Va.; West Melbourne, Fla.; Houston; and Hayward, Calif.