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:
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.