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Department of Energy to Invest $2 Million for Small-Scale Production of Rare Earth Elements

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have announced approximately $2 million in federally funded financial assistance for the first phase of cost-shared projects aimed to achieve small-scale production of salable rare earth elements (REEs) from domestic sources of pre-combustion coal and coal by-products.

REEs are a series of chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. Due to their unique chemical properties, REEs have become essential components of many technologies spanning a range of applications including electronics, computer and communication systems, transportation, health care, and national defense.

The demand, cost, and availability of REEs have grown significantly over recent years stimulating an emphasis on economically feasible approaches for REE recovery.  Since 2014, NETL has been engaged in research to determine the economic feasibility of producing REEs from both domestic coal and coal by-products.  Learn more about this funding opportunity here.

The Office of Fossil Energy funds research, development and demonstration projects to reduce the risk and cost of advanced carbon technologies and further the sustainable use of the Nation’s fossil resources. To learn more about the programs within the Office of Fossil Energy, visit our website or sign up for FE news announcements.  To learn more about the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, visit the NETL website.


Distribution channels: Energy