US DOE NETL led projects to prioritize rare earth mining from waste coal
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) has awarded nearly US $ 18 million to advance eight rare earth elements (REE) mining projects and d ‘other critical minerals (CM) of materials such as waste coal. and support revitalization in areas of the country facing economic adversity from declining coal and power station communities.
Each of the eight projects had previously worked with DOE to develop a conceptual design for a technology to produce at least 1-3 tonnes per day of mixed rare earth oxides or rare earth salts and other critical minerals ( MC) from primarily coal-based sources. Rare earth elements and essential minerals are essential in the construction of medical equipment, energy components, defense technologies, modern electronics and many other consumer goods.
The DOE recently exercised options to continue work on the eight projects to complete the feasibility studies of their concepts. Each feasibility study, lasting 7 to 10 months, aims to accelerate the advancement of technology to extract these materials present in coal and coal waste. DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) managed the contract design phase and will continue to manage the feasibility study phase.
DOE has exercised contract options to continue projects operated by: Energy Fuels Resources (Lakewood, Colorado); Materia USA LLC (Inwood, New York); MP Mine Operations LLC (Mountain Pass, Calif.); Tetra Tech Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (Sierra Blanca, Texas); University of North Dakota (Grand Forks, North Dakota); West Virginia University Research Corporation (Morgantown, West Virginia); and Winner Water Services Inc. (Sharon, Pennsylvania).
The productive uses of rare earths and CMs align with the goals of the Biden-Harris administration to expand and develop existing and new ecological uses of waste coal, and to deploy these technologies in coal communities and power plants in economic difficulty. This strategy encourages job creation as the country shifts to clean energy and will help ensure that the cost of the energy transition is not disproportionately borne by coal communities.
By completing feasibility studies, projects will provide reports for an environmental justice assessment detailing the amount of freshwater, land and other resources used, how the technology is addressing environmental impacts inherited from the energy industry and the relationship between the amount of waste coal used. relative to the amount of ETR and MC recovered.
Each project will also complete a summary on the extent to which new jobs will be created in the implementation of their projects in power plants and coal communities that are economically struggling or have been disproportionately affected by the negative environmental impacts of the energy industry.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/23062021/us-doe-netl-led-projects-to-prioritise-rare-earth-extraction-from-coal-waste/