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US DOE announces new projects to develop rare earth elements from coal

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World Coal,

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced nine projects to receive approximately US$4 million in cost-shared federal funding to improve the technical, environmental, and economic performance of new and existing technologies that extract, separate, and recover rare earth elements (REEs) from domestic US coal and coal byproducts.

The selected research projects will further the goals of the DOE Office of Fossil Energy’s Rare Earth Elements Program by focusing on the development of cost-effective and environmentally benign approaches for the recovery of REEs from domestic coal and coal by-products.

According to a news release by the department, the development of an economically competitive supply of REEs will help to maintain the nation’s economic growth and national security. The US’ domestic coal resources contain quantities of REEs that offer the potential to reduce their dependence on others for these critical materials and create new industries in regions where coal plays an important economic role.

The new projects will be managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory and are supported through the funding opportunity announcement, Development of Transformational Separation and Extraction Processes for Production of Rare Earth Element (REE) Materials from Domestic US Coal and Coal By-Products.

Selected projects fall under three Areas of Interest:

  • One: advanced, novel technology development for initial REE extraction, concentrating to ≥ 2 weight percent.
  • Two: optimisation of current state-of-the-art separation technologies for initial REE extraction, concentrating to ≥ 2?10 weight percent.
  • Three: technology advancements for high-purity REE extractions, concentrating to 90.0–99.99 weight percent.

To find out more about the selected project, click here.

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