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NETL’s Mary Anne Alvin, an expert on RareEarthElements, has accepted a nomination from @smecommunity as a 2021-2022 SME Henry Krumb Lecturer for her paper titled “Rare Earth Elements and Critical Materials."
NETL’s Mary Anne Alvin Nominated as a 2021-2022 Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Henry Krumb Lecturer for Rare Earth Element Research

NETL will soon have the opportunity to share its research initiatives in the field of rare earth elements (REEs) and critical minerals (CMs) with the greater mining and engineering communities when Mary Anne Alvin presents before the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME). Her acceptance of the nomination to be a 2021-2022 SME Henry Krumb Lecturer will enable her to present research and findings of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) with SME’s members.

Alvin, currently NETL’s Acting Technology Manager for FECM’s  Critical Minerals Sustainability Program, accepted a nomination from the society as Henry Krumb Lecturer for her paper titled “Rare Earth Elements and Critical Materials.” Alvin is a nationally renowned expert and is internationally recognized in the areas of REEs and CMs and will be called upon to present her findings at local SME section meetings.
REEs and CMs are vital to the increasingly high-tech economies of the modern world. They are used in the production of medical equipment, clean energy components, electric vehicles, electronics, military technology and a wide variety of consumer goods. However, most of the world’s REE supplies are controlled overseas. NETL and the U.S. Department of Energy are dedicated to establishing a domestic supply of REEs and other economically vital CMs, which has been the focus of NETL’s research.

Alternative domestic sources of REEs and CMs, apart from mining operations, focus on recovering them from the country’s vast supplies of carbon ore and by-products, such as fly ash and acid mine drainage. NETL is pursuing a portfolio of projects with its partner organizations aimed at optimizing REE and CM production from these unconventional sources, which can lead to economic and environmental benefits such as new jobs in remediating or restoring old mining sites and collecting the sought-after elements in the process.
Alvin will detail NETL’s research project portfolio to SME members during the Henry Krumb Lecture Series in 2022.
“I’m honored to be nominated by the society to take part in this series. This is an outstanding opportunity for NETL  to showcase the research that FECM is pursuing, both in-house and in collaboration with our partners in academia, industry and other government laboratories,” Alvin said. 

“By finding unconventional sources of rare earth elements and critical minerals close to home, developing advanced separation and recovery processing circuits, and facilitating the construction and operation of pilot-scale test facilities, NETL is helping to incentivize environmental cleanup, create new job opportunities and promote potential future onshore domestic REE and CM production. I am proud to share the accomplishments of our technology portfolio from the past six years and look to the future for when these advancements can contribute to supporting the nation’s critical materials demand.”

Named after American mining engineer Henry Krumb, administered by SME and partially funded by a grant from the Seeley W. Mudd Memorial Fund, the Henry Krumb Lecture Series aims to broaden section appreciation and understanding of important new methods and technologies. Lecturers are selected from the professionals who present technical papers at the MINEXCHANGE SME Annual Conference & Expo.

NETL is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory that drives innovation and delivers technological solutions for an environmentally sustainable and prosperous energy future. By leveraging its world-class talent and research facilities, NETL is ensuring affordable, abundant and reliable energy that drives a robust economy and national security, while developing technologies to manage carbon across the full life cycle, enabling environmental sustainability for all Americans.