A little history of the division.
From the beginning of the organization (1951) and the formation of VNIHT, laboratory No. 18 was created – the leading division for research on the hydrometallurgy of thorium and rare earth elements (REE), the head is Grigory Eremeevich Kaplan, Doctor of Technical Sciences, professor, twice winner of the Stalin Prize. Subsequently, the heads of the laboratory, which bore various names (E-2, RZ-2, RM-3), were: Sergei Dmitrievich Moiseev, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor, laureate of the Prize of the Council of Ministers of the USSR; Valery Dmitrievich Kosynkin, doctor of technical sciences, professor, laureate of awards of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Council of Ministers of Russia; from 1988 to the present – A.K. Selivanovsky.
Already in 1958, the results of studies on alkaline methods of opening monazite were reported in Geneva at the Second International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. The main purpose of the processing of monazite concentrate at that time was the isolation of thorium and the production of its products of nuclear purity. The alkaline extraction scheme for the processing of monazite existed at the Moscow Polymetal Plant until 1971.
In the postwar years, interest in rare earth elements (REE) began to grow, a wide range of properties of which made it possible to satisfy the growing needs of new branches of science and technology. Therefore, continuing to work on the technologies for obtaining rare earth elements from monazite, the laboratory team began developing technologies for the associated extraction of rare earth elements and obtaining rare earth products from uranium-containing phosphorites of the Melovoye deposit, loparite and apatite. When processing these raw materials, the target components were uranium (phosphorite from the Melovoye deposit); tantalum, niobium and titanium (loparite); phosphorus for fertilizers (apatite).
The technologies for extracting, decontaminating and separating REE developed by the laboratory staff were introduced at the enterprises of the city of Aktau (Kazakhstan), Dneprodzerzhinsk (Ukraine), Moscow (refining concentrate “Melovoye”); Sillamäe, Estonia (loparite processing). The contribution of four employees of the Institute (S.D. Moiseev, V.D. Kosynkin, E.N. Sevostyanova and E.M. Knyazeva) to the development, commercial launch and improvement of technologies for the associated extraction, purification, decontamination and separation of rare earth elements with the receipt of total products , concentrates and individual elements in 1986 was awarded the Prize of the Council of Ministers of the USSR.
The development of rare earth production stimulated the expansion of research on the use of rare earth elements in various fields. In 1961, the Council of Ministers of the USSR issued a resolution on the introduction of rare metals into the production of catalysts for petrochemistry, and in 1971, an order from the minister to expand work on the use of rare earth elements in the national economy. In accordance with the order, in 1972, a group on the use of REE was created in the E-2 laboratory, the main areas of work of which were: metallurgy, petrochemical catalysis, electronics, and the glass industry. The work of the group in close cooperation with factories and institutes of other ministries led to the widespread use of rare earth elements in these industries.
Extensive research on REE technology has led to changes in the structure and quantitative composition of the team. In 1988, the Department of Rare Earths (RH) was formed on the basis of the laboratory. The management of the department was entrusted to V.D. Kosynkin. Its number was 85 employees.
With the collapse of the USSR, Russia’s economic ties with the CIS and Baltic countries were disrupted, and the production of rare earth products in the Russian Federation and the CIS as a whole dropped sharply. At the same time, the number of employees dealing with rare earth topics was reduced. Despite this, despite the difficulties in financing the work and providing equipment, the work necessary for the country was completed during these years. For research, development and organization of serial production of domestic rare-earth polishing materials V.D. Kosynkin and E.N. Ivanov in 1997 were awarded the Prize of the Government of the Russian Federation.
In the 2000-10s, the labor of the laboratory staff restored the technology lost at the MZP and organized the production of X-ray protective compositions of rare-earth oxides; technologies for the extraction and purification of rare earth elements were developed during the nitric acid processing of apatite for fertilizers and in the complex waste-free processing of phosphogypsum, a waste from the processing of Khibiny apatite using the sulfuric acid method; an extraction technology has been developed for obtaining pure dysprosium and erbium compounds used as burnable additives in nuclear fuel and reactor protection control systems; a technology has been developed for obtaining single-phase crystalline nanopowders of rare-earth-gallium garnets.
Scientific composition (candidates, doctors, professors, etc.)
Valery Dmitrievich Kosynkin, doctor of technical sciences, professor, laureate of awards of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the Council of Ministers of Russia.
Andrey Konstantinovich Selivanovsky, candidate of chemical sciences.
The main competencies of the unit
- Technologies for the extraction and purification of REE from rare earth and radioactive impurities in the complex non-waste processing of mineral and technogenic raw materials (industrial waste).
- Technologies for the extraction separation of rare earth elements with the production of concentrates of various compositions and pure individual elements.
- Technology for obtaining rare-earth X-ray protective compositions.
- Technology for obtaining single-phase crystalline nanopowders of RE-containing garnets.
- The most significant completed and ongoing projects and works
The laboratory team is involved in the reconstruction of the industry of rare and rare earth metals, outlined by the program of the Russian government “Development of industry and increasing its competitiveness”. Within the framework of the subprogram “Development of the industry of rare and rare earth metals”, the following have been developed:
- technologies for the extraction and purification of REE from rare earth and radioactive impurities in the processing of monazite concentrate, concentrate from the Tomtor deposit;
- extraction schemes for the separation of total rare earth concentrates isolated from monazite concentrate, concentrate from the Tomtor deposit, and apatite concentrate to obtain pure individual elements and group concentrates.
Since 2017, the laboratory has been participating in the Project for the development of extraction isotope separation technology to produce high purity lithium-7.