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DOE to award ~$2M for small-scale production of rare earth elements from domestic coal and coal by-products

The US Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) announced (DE-FOA-0001627 NOI) approximately $2 million in federally funded financial assistance for the first phase of cost-shared projects aimed to achieve small-scale production of salable rare earth elements (REEs) from domestic sources of pre-combustion coal and coal by-products.

REEs are a series of chemical elements found in the Earth’s crust. Due to their unique chemical properties, REEs have become essential components of many technologies spanning a range of applications including electronics, computer and communication systems, transportation, health care, and national defense.

The demand, cost, and availability of REEs have grown significantly over recent years stimulating an emphasis on economically feasible approaches for REE recovery. Since 2014, NETL has been engaged in research to determine the economic feasibility of producing REEs from both domestic coal and coal by-products.



Perhaps they'll also recover uranium from the ash.  I read that the Manhattan project commissioned the mining of a particular deposit of lignite, which was burned so that the ash could be processed for its uranium.  Emissions of uranium, radium and radon from coal plants are far more radioactive than anything a nuclear power plant is allowed to release.

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