Innovations by researchers at Ohio State University have shown potential to deliver a supply of strategically and economically vital rare earth elements (REEs). REEs are used in everything from green energy applications and personal electronics to defense technology and smart car systems. Important as these elements are, China controls the lion’s share of the world market. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been tasked with helping secure a domestic supply. NETL’s research has demonstrated methods by which REEs can be extracted from the nation’s coal by-products such as acid mine drainage (AMD) and fly ash generated at power generation facilities, with the Ohio State University refining this process even further. The Ohio State University researchers demonstrated that a conceptual three-stage trap-extract-precipitate (TEP) process can successfully extract REEs from coal mine drainage. The TEP process relies on the use of environmentally benign industrial by-products to trap the REEs and an organic chelating agent to recover the REEs from the mine drainage.