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DOE Issues Request for Information to Attain Uninterruptable Supply of Critical Minerals

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has issued a request for information (RFI) to develop technologies needed to attain an uninterruptable domestic supply of critical minerals (CMs) and rare earth elements (REEs).

A sustainable domestic supply of CMs and REEs is a U.S. priority because they are used to manufacture cell phones, LED screens, solar panels, energy infrastructure, defense technologies and in other essential high-tech applications. Advances in CM and REE sustainability will improve U.S. ability to overcome supply disruptions, restrictions or embargos of certain CMs and REEs by re-establishing the nation’s once world-leading CM and REE supply chains.

Since 2014, DOE/FE and NETL have undertaken research focused on extraction, separation, recovery and purification of CMs and REEs from coal-based materials. This RFI seeks responses on a broad range of applicable CM and REE technologies that extend research beyond what is currently sponsored by DOE/FE and managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). Specifically, DOE/FE is interested in gathering information relevant to four topic areas:

  • Resource Characterization and Technology Development
  • Sustainable Resource Extraction and Beneficiation Technology Development
  • Extractive Metallurgy, Reduction and Alloying Technology Development
  • International Engagements, Standards and Supply Chain Development

To achieve these objectives, the RFI seeks input from stakeholders including, but not limited to, geologic and mineral characterization, mining, mineral processing, and metallurgical industries; end-user technology manufacturers using CMs and REEs; and national laboratories and universities involved with R&D geared toward attaining an uninterruptable domestic supply of CMs and REEs.

Responses may be used to identify and assess technology and knowledge gaps, contribute to the development of multi-year programs, and assist in developing content for future funding opportunity announcements.

Responses to this RFI must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. (ET) on February 22, 2021.

Click here to read the complete RFI.