Rare Earth Elements (REE) from Coal and Coal By-Products Email Page
Print This Page
Performer:  National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Location:  Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Morgantown, West Virginia and Albany, Oregon
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 09/30/2016 Award Number:  FWP-RIC REE FY2016
Technology Area:  Rare Earth Recovery Total Award Value:  $6,768,732
Key Technology:  Separation Technologies DOE Share:  $6,768,732
Performer Share:  $0

Rare Earth Element Coal and<br/>Coal By-Product Research
Rare Earth Element Coal and
Coal By-Product Research

Project Description

The National Energy Technology Laboratory’s (NETL) Research & Innovation Center (RIC) is conducting a collaborative Field Work Proposal (FWP) to develop technologies for the recovery of rare earth elements (REE) from coal and coal by-products. The purpose of this FWP is to provide a pathway to improve the economics, reduce the environmental impact, and produce domestic coal-based REEs. The FWP will be conducted through the execution of the following research areas:

  • Rare Earth Element Characterization
  • Rare Earth Element Separation
  • CFD Modeling of REE Separations
  • Field Site Materials Characterization and Inventory
  • Bench-Scale Separations Facility
  • Technology and Technology Area Transfer

The project will explore and develop novel, economical, and environmentally compliant advanced REE separation techniques (i.e., physical and mechanical separation; chemical separation; electrical, thermal, and/or plasma separation; advanced sorbents). This includes the characterization of field site REE resources, addressing the potential use of advanced analytical characterization techniques as well as identification & technology transfer of REE characterization and separation concepts to potential alternate technology areas. The FWP will also assess the feasibility of establishing a world-class, bench-scale, REE separations and processing facility at NETL. This would build on NETL’s in-house expertise and capability in the areas of separations research and would strengthen NETL’s collaboration with industrial partners, universities, alternate National Laboratories, and other Government agencies. All of these concurrent technology development pathways will orchestrate the development of techno-economically feasible REE separations processes/systems for ultimate technology transfer to the stakeholder community.

Project Benefits

The FWP is focused on validation, by 2025, of one or more technically and economically feasible technologies for recovering REEs from coal and/or coal by-products.  The REEs could be present in a form that could range from pre-concentrates (2% or higher) to REE mischmetal (rare earth mixed alloy, near 100%).  The FWP is also focused on field testing at a scale sufficient to ready the technology for commercial deployment, while improving the economics and reducing the environmental impact of the processes.

Presentations, Papers, and Publications

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager Evan Granite: evan.granite@netl.doe.gov
Technology Manager Mary Anne Alvin: maryanne.alvin@netl.doe.gov
Principal Investigator Evan Granite: evan.granite@netl.doe.gov