The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy selected 13 projects to receive approximately $1.95 million in federal funding to develop conceptual designs of commercially viable technologies that will extract rare earth elements (REEs) from U.S. coal and coal by-product sources. Each project will receive up to $150,000 in DOE funding. The conceptual designs will include system configurations, equipment features, performance characteristics, and associated costs for systems that produce at least 1–3 metric tons per day of mixed rare earth oxides (REOs) or rare earth salts (RESs) and other critical minerals (CMs) in some designs.
A secure, reliable, and sustainable domestic supply of CMs and REEs is essential to the continued health of the Nation’s energy and electronics industries and is an important contributor to national security. DOE’s Critical Minerals Sustainability Program (previously called the Feasibility of Recovering Rare Earth Elements Program) has demonstrated the technical feasibility of extracting these resources from coal-based materials. The program has moved into bench-scale and engineering-scale prototype materials processing to
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