Critical Minerals and Materials
The DOE-NETL Critical Minerals and Materials Program
is focused on extracting, separating and refining
Rare Earth Elements (REEs) & Critical Materials (CMs)
from unconventional and secondary resources such as coal,
coal-based resources, and other non-traditional feedstocks.
Rare earth elements (REEs) are essential
dual use materials that are incorporated into
many of today’s components...
...and are paving the way for
future technology innovation
Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals
Validate the technical and economic feasibility of domestic small pilot-scale facilities to produce high purity mixed rare earth oxides and critical materials from unconventional and secondary resources such as coal, coal-based resources, and other non-traditional feedstocks.
Produce 1-3 tonnes/day of high purity mixed rare earth oxides/salts in domestic engineering prototype facilities using coal-based and alternate resources as feedstock materials
The Program portfolio consists of a diverse set of domestic feedstock materials that include coal, coal refuse, clay/shale over/under-burden, aqueous effluents as acid mine drainage (AMD), associated solids and precipitates resulting from AMD treatment, and power generation ash. Chemical analyses of these materials are publicly accessible in NETL’s REE-CM EDX database.
Conventional and advanced extraction, separation, recovery and purification process RD&D development is the underlying basis of NETL’s Program.
Achievements to date have resulted in the design, construction and operation of three first-of-a-kind, small pilot-scale facilities producing small quantities (e.g., ~100 gm/day) of >90% (>900,000 ppm) high purity mixed rare earth oxides/salts from coal-based resources using conventional physical beneficiation and hydrometallurgical (chemical separation) processes.
Explore the Site
NETL implements this effort as part of DOE’s Resource Sustainability Program.