DOE to award nearly $4M for projects on recovering rare earth elements from coal and coal by-products

DOE to award nearly $4M for projects on recovering rare earth elements from coal and coal by-products

6 June 2017

The US Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) will award an estimated $3.95 million (DE-FOA-0001718) to projects to develop new technologies or technology advancements that result in improvements in technical, environmental, and economic performance of existing technologies to recover rare earth elements (REE) from domestic US coal and coal by-products.

NETL has previously awarded REE projects that are focused on recovering > 2 wt% T-REEe (total rare earth elements on an elemental [non-oxide] basis) production from coal and coal by-products, as well as service contracts to external entities to identify and characterize pre-combustion coal and coal-related materials in various regions of the US.

Additionally, NETL has recently solicited applications to achieve small-scale production of salable REEs in the form of final products such as individual high purity rare earth oxides and/or other individual rare earth compounds from domestic US sources of pre-combustion coal and coal by-products.

The new funding opportunity announcement outlines three areas of interest (AOI):

  1. To develop advanced, new/novel, Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 2-4 separation and extraction technologies and processes using domestic US coal and related coal-resources as feedstock materials.

  2. To advance existing technologies, such as grinding, sieving, froth floatation, magnetic separation, etc. Both AOI 1 and AOI 2 projects will be focused on utilizing coal-based resources to separate and extract contained REEs to > 2 wt% (AOI 1) and 2-10 wt% (AOI 2) in resulting pre-concentrate matrices.

  3. Research efforts to focus on development of advanced new/novel (TRL up to 4) technologies and/or advancement(s) to existing REE separation and extraction technologies, to generate high purity (90.0-99.99wt%), salable REEs.


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