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Evolve Central Appalachia (Evolve CAPP)
Project Number
Last Reviewed Dated

Project-specific objectives are to determine the quantity and distribution of these resources in the region, formulate strategies to utilize coal waste streams to produce useful fuels and materials, formulate strategies to encourage business development, guide research and development of new technologies, formulate plans to establish technology innovation centers, and formulate and implement stakeholder outreach and education initiatives. In addition, the research team is evaluating regional infrastructure and identifying industries and businesses that may benefit from current and future Carbon Ore, Rare Earth, and Critical Minerals (CORE-CM) production and utilization. Strategies will be presented to spur economic growth, close supply chain gaps, promote investment in the region, and address workforce education and training opportunities.


Virginia Tech, VA 24061


The Evolve CAPP project is developing and implementing strategies that will enable the Central Appalachian basin to realize its full economic potential for producing Rare Earth Elements (REE), CM and high-value, nonfuel, carbon-based products from basin-contained resources. The Evolve CAPP project is focusing on the following six objectives: (1) basinal assessment of CORE-CM resources, (2) basinal strategies for reuse of waste streams, (3) basinal strategies for infrastructure, industries, and businesses, (4) technology assessment, development, and field testing, (5) technology innovation centers, and (6) stakeholder outreach and education.


The team is collaborating with business and industrial partners to accelerate commercial deployment of promising technologies than can recover and utilize CORE-CM resources in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. National interest and U.S. independence in critical raw materials and national security is being addressed in the overall technology assessment process. This project could help to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign sources of REE and CM by utilizing the region’s vast natural resources and skilled people to extract additional CORE-CM resources from coal and associated byproducts to develop additional revenue streams through the manufacture of intermediate and end-use carbon-based products.

Accomplishments (most recent listed first)

The project team has assembled a GIS database of known CORE-CM data in the region, compiled a preliminary sampling plan, formed a preliminary stakeholder outreach and education plan, and hosted multiple stakeholder outreach events.

Current Status

The project team continues to conduct Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) analysis for products related to CORE-CM resources, preliminary basinal resource assessments, mining refuse and coal combustion residuals (CCR) waste stream assessments, regional infrastructure, industry and business assessments, and technology assessments. The project team has engaged multiple stakeholders to begin initial sampling and analysis of potential CORE-CM resources.

Project Start
Project End
DOE Contribution


Performer Contribution


Contact Information

NETL – Stephen Henry ( or 304-285-2083)
Virginia Tech – Richard Bishop ( or 540-231-0934)