US announces USD 6.9 million for research on rare earth elements

Washington D.C. [USA], June 10 (ANI): The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy has announced an investment of USD 6.9 million in rare earth element (REE) research through two funding opportunities.
The DOE announced in a statement that the three projects have been selected to receive approximately USD 3 million for research aimed at producing salable REEs from domestic coal and coal by-products.
In addition, the DOE has announced the availability of an additional USD 3.95 million for projects in three new topic areas to accelerate separation and extraction processes for REEs.
REEs are a series of 17 chemical elements found in the Earth's crust. Due to their unique chemical properties, REEs are essential components of technologies spanning a range of applications, including electronics, computer and communication systems, transportation, health care, and national defence.
The new projects were selected under the Production of Salable Rare Earth Elements from Domestic U.S. Coal and Coal Byproducts funding opportunity announcement (FOA).
High Yield, Economical, Large Scale Production of Marketable Rare Earth Element Products from Coal Mining Refuse – Equinox Chemicals LLC (Albany, GA) and project partners will conduct laboratory testing and prepare a technical design for a pilot plant to produce salable REEs. They will use by-products from an existing eastern Kentucky coal preparation plant as their source of REEs. Their phase 1 design will consider recovery and sale of coal from these preparation plant by-products as an additional source of revenue.
Recovery of Rare Earth Elements from Coal Mining Waste Materials – Inventure Renewables (Tuscaloosa, AL) and project partners will use coal-related materials from an eastern Pennsylvania anthracite coal mine as their source of REEs. In phase 1, they will conduct laboratory testing and prepare their technical design for a pilot plant to produce salable REEs.
Production of Salable Rare Earth Elements from Domestic U.S. Coal and Coal By-Products – Marshall Miller & Associates (Bluefield, VA) and project partners will conduct laboratory testing and prepare their technical design for a pilot plant to produce salable REEs. They will use by-products from an existing West Virginia coal preparation (coal washing) plant as their raw material for extracting REEs. Their phase 1 design includes recovery and sale of dry, fine, high-quality coal from this raw material as an additional source of revenue.
In addition, DOE has issued the Development of Separation and Extraction Processes for Production of REE Materials from Domestic U.S. Coal and Coal By-Products funding opportunity announcement. Projects selected under this FOA will focus on improving the technical, environmental, and economic performance of existing processes that recover REEs from domestic U.S. coal and coal by-products. (ANI)

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