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U.S. Department of Energy to Invest $28.35M in Advanced Processing of Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals for Industrial and Manufa…

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The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced $28.35 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE-FOA-0002404, Advanced Processing of Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals for Industrial and Manufacturing Applications.

The U.S. imports more than half of its annual consumption of 31 of the 35 critical minerals (CM). The U.S. has no domestic production for 14 CMs and is completely dependent on imports to supply its demand. CM are used in the manufacture of high-tech devices, national defense applications, and green growth-related industries.

One of these CM, rare earth elements (REE) are the 15 elements in the lanthanide series shown in the periodic table. Scandium and yttrium are included in the manufacture of cell phones, LED screens, solar panels, energy infrastructure, defense technologies, and other essential high-tech applications. The U.S. currently imports 80% of its REEs directly from China, with remaining portions indirectly sourced from China through other countries.

By creating a sustainable domestic CM and REE supply chain, the United States would reduce its risk of supply disruption for essential domestic and military industries, while producing these needed materials for the emerging clean energy

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