Investigation of Rare Earth Element Extraction from North Dakota Coal-Related Feedstocks


Separation and concentrating REEs<br/>from GRE’s DryFiningTM process
Separation and concentrating REEs
from GRE’s DryFiningTM process
University of North Dakota
Website:  University of North Dakota
Award Number:  FE0027006
Project Duration:  03/01/2016 – 03/31/2019
Total Award Value:  $4,309,347
DOE Share:  $3,343,847
Performer Share:  $965,500
Technology Area:  Rare Earth Recovery
Key Technology: 
Location:  Grand Forks, North Dakota

Project Description

The University of North Dakota Institute for Energy Studies, Barr Engineering, and PNNL are teaming up to develop a high performance, economically viable, and environmentally benign technology to recover rare earth elements from North Dakota lignite and associated sediments from a lignite drying system reject stream. The team will examine the potential to concentrate REEs through traditional augmented physical beneficiation methods such as size, gravity, magnetic and electrostatic separation as well as chemical treatment and novel separation technologies including recovery from the reject stream of the DryFiningTM process, which was demonstrated under DOE Award Number DE-FC26-04NT41763 by Great River Energy (GRE).

Project Benefits

The proposed work will demonstrate a bench-scale system (5 to 10 kg/hour throughput) to concentrate the REEs by means of an environmentally benign and technically and economically feasible method. Additionally, through demonstration of the ability to concentrate REEs to 2 percent by weight from the abundant coal-related resources in North Dakota, additional markets will be opened up, providing tremendous economic benefit to the state, region and country. This work will enable migration for subsequent larger demonstrations and eventual commercial deployment.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Charles E. Miller:
Technology Manager 
Mary Anne Alvin:
Principal Investigator 
Steve Benson:

Click to view Presentations, Papers, and Publications