Meet the ESRs – Part 7


Name: Wenzhong Zhang

ESR 9: Separation of REEs using inorganic metal phosphate ion exchangers 

Tell us a little about yourself?

I was born, raised and educated in Shanghai, China. I am 23 years old now and holds a master degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University majoring in Environmental Science and Engineering. I would like to describe myself as an optimistic perfectionist. I love cooking and trying out new recipes. I also play tennis in my leisure time.


How is your PhD going? What is your upcoming research about?

My PhD is based at University of Helsinki in Finland. I started my doctoral work in around April. The main focus of my research is to use a specific class of inorganic ion-exchange materials to separate scandium along with other rare earth elements from the acid leachate of red mud. At the moment I am synthesizing some kinds of ion-exchangers and the rare earth uptake and elution behaviour will be tested in the upcoming months.


What or who motivates and inspires you? Any thoughts and life musings you’d like to share with us?

“There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

By William Shakespeare


If a chicken had lips, could it whistle?

I don’t think so and I certainly don’t hope so. Judging by the way chicken eats, they cannot control the air stream from their mouth. And it need to blow the air from its mouth in order to whistle… Therefore…