DOE awarding $17M to 3 projects to produce rare earth elements from coal-based resources

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will award more than $17 million to three projects that will support the design and construction of facilities that produce rare earth elements and other critical minerals and materials from coal-based resources. The projects, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, may strengthen domestic supply... Read more →


US coal-related CO2 emissions decreased by 7%, or 68 million metric tons (MMmt), in 2022 relative to 2021, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). This decrease was largely due to an 8% decline in coal-fired power generation because of retiring coal-fired generating capacity. Changes in electricity generation sources... Read more →


Ramaco Resources acquires commercial development rights for NETL coal-to-graphene process

Ramaco Resources Inc. formally acquired a patent from the US Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) for the commercial development of a coal-to-products technology. The patented process converts coal and coal-related mining waste into high-quality, affordable graphene, which can be used in vehicle batteries, construction and infrastructure materials,... Read more →


US coal exports increased by 5.7 million short tons (MMst) in the 12 months after EU sanctions on coal from Russia went into full effect in August 2022, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The increase was driven almost exclusively by a 22% jump in U.S coal exports... Read more →


X-BATT, a developer of advanced battery materials, is partnering with CONSOL Innovations, a subsidiary of CONSOL Energy Inc., to accelerate the development of coal-based anode technology. The work will be performed by C-BATT Innovations LLC, a newly formed joint venture between the companies, which is focused on advancing domestic battery... Read more →


DOE to award $30M to support production of rare earths and other critical minerals from coal-based resources

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $30 million to help lower the costs of the onshore production of rare earths and other critical minerals and materials from domestic coal-based resources. (DE-FOA-0002619) According to the US Geological Survey’s National Mineral Information Center, the United States imports more than... Read more →


NETL framework for assessing economic viability of recovering REEs from unconventional sources

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has created a framework to assess the economic viability of recovering rare earth elements (REEs) from unconventional feedstocks such as coal and coal waste—an advance that is part of NETL efforts to unlock new domestic sources of critical minerals (CM) that can ease US... Read more →


DOE to award $32M for FEED studies for production of rare earths and critical minerals and materials from coal

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $32 million for Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) studies for two different sizes (intermediate-scale and demonstration-scale) Rare Earth Element (REE) Facilities that demonstrate the extraction, separation, and refining from coal and coal by-products to high purity individual or binary rare earth metals (REM)... Read more →


EPA proposes new pollution standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed new CO2 standards for coal and natural gas-fired power plants. The proposal for coal and new natural gas power plants would avoid up to 617 million metric tons of total CO2 through 2042—equivalent to reducing the annual emissions of 137 million passenger... Read more →


In association with researchers from the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and analysts at mining consultancy Weir International, metallurgical coal producer Ramaco Resources released an independent Exploration Target report with technical assessment of rare earth elements (REE) found at its Brook Mine in Wyoming. Following eighteen months... Read more →


Coal trains and terminal operations add a significant amount of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution to urban areas—more so than other freight or passenger trains—according to a study conducted in Richmond, California, by the University of California, Davis. The open-access paper, published in the journal Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health,... Read more →


Ramaco Carbon partnering with ORNL on new processes to make graphite from coal

Ramaco Carbon is partnering with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop new, large-scale processes for making graphite from coal. The efforts on graphite are part of a larger research partnership between Ramaco and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory over the past three years, exploring a wide range of alternative uses... Read more →


NETL researchers create MOF-based luminescent sensor to detect aluminum impurities in rare earth element sources

Aluminum is a critical element used in thousands of important products, but it can often interfere with quick and effective extraction of valuable rare earth elements (REEs) from coal waste byproducts. Because aluminum interferes with the recovery of REEs from some sources, NETL researchers developed an effective, renewable, technology that... Read more →


DOE awards $2M to Ohio University to develop products for energy storage and motors from coal waste

The Department of Energy (DOE) is funding six research and development projects that will repurpose domestic coal resources for high-value graphitic products and carbon-metal composites that can be employed in clean energy technologies. (Earlier post.) Ohio University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment was awarded two of the six... Read more →


Nippon Steel Corporation and Canada-based Teck Resources Limited, the second largest producer of high-quality steelmaking coal in the world, have executed an investment agreement with certain other affiliates of each of Nippon Steel and Teck, pursuant to which Nippon Steel has agreed to acquire indirectly up to 10% of common... Read more →


Researchers at The Ohio State University have developed a novel process to clean coal mine drainage and extract rare-earth elements from it. In an open-access paper in the journal Environmental Engineering Science, the team reports that the process successfully cleaned clean coal mine drainage while producing rare-earth elements in samples... Read more →


DOE announces up to $6M to develop clean energy products from coal and coal wastes

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) has announced up to $6 million available (DE-FOA-0002620) for research and development (R&D) projects that will repurpose domestic coal resources for products that can be employed in clean energy technologies such as batteries and advanced manufacturing.... Read more →


A research team led by Prof. Pan Xiulian and Prof. Bao Xinhe from the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has achieved the direct synthesis of isoparaffin-rich gasoline from syngas using ZnAlOx-SAPO-11 oxide-zeolite (OXZEO) catalysts. Isoparaffins are preferred components of high-quality gasoline because they... Read more →


In 2021, coal exports from the United States increased by 23% to 85 million metric short tons (MMst) from 69 MMst in 2020, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). Steam coal exports increased by 47% to 40 MMst, and metallurgical coal exports increased by 8% to 45 MMst.... Read more →


Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose by 6% in 2021 to 36.3 billion tonnes, their highest ever level, as the world economy rebounded strongly from the COVID-19 crisis and relied heavily on coal to power that growth, according to new IEA analysis. The rebound of global CO2 emissions above pre-pandemic... Read more →


After declining in 2020, the combined production of US fossil fuels (including natural gas, crude oil, and coal) increased by 2% in 2021 to 77.14 quadrillion British thermal units. Based on forecasts in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects US fossil fuel production... Read more →


As states continue to use less coal for electricity, driving electric vehicles becomes even cleaner

by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research Battery electric vehicles are only as clean as the energy source used to generate the electricity that powers them. The calculated relative amounts of well-to-wheels emissions of greenhouse gases from eight different energy sources are shown in the table below. (The calculations were based... Read more →


Report: Plastics industry will release more GHGs than coal plants in the US by 2030

Plastics are on track to contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than coal plants in the US by 2030, according to new report by Beyond Plastics, a nationwide project based at Bennington College in Vermont. The New Coal: Plastics and Climate Change analyzes data from ten stages of plastics production, usage,... Read more →


EIA expects 7% increase in US energy-sector CO2 emissions as economic activity increases during 2021

Increased economic activity and a changing fuel mix in the electric power sector in 2021 will lead to a significant increase in energy-related carbon dioxide emissions this year, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) August Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). After decreasing by 11% in 2020, US energy-related CO2... Read more →


Renewables are expanding quickly but not enough to satisfy a strong rebound in global electricity demand this year, resulting in a sharp rise in the use of coal power that risks pushing carbon dioxide emissions from the electricity sector to record levels next year, according to a new report from... Read more →


In Japan, JERA and IHI Corporation will conduct a demonstration project under the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization’s “Development of Technologies for Carbon Recycling and Next-Generation Thermal Power Generation / Research, Development and Demonstration of Technologies for Ammonia Co-Firing Thermal Power Generation” program. This will be the world’s... Read more →


MP Materials has received a $3-million award from the Department of Energy (DOE) to complete a feasibility study, working with the University of Kentucky (UK), on a system to produce rare earth oxides, metals, and other critical materials recovered from coal by-products. This project is enabled by a DOE-exercised option... Read more →


TMRC consortium awarded second phase of DOE contract targeting production of mixed rare earth oxides from PA coal waste

Texas Mineral Resources Corp. (TMRC), an exploration company targeting the heavy rare earths and a variety of other high-value critical elements and industrial minerals, announced that the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technical Laboratory (NETL) has selected a TMRC-led consortium to continue a contract targeting the production of rare... Read more →


ARPA-E announces $35M for technologies to reduce methane emissions

ARPA-E announced up to $35 million for a new program focused on developing technologies to reduce methane emissions in the oil, gas, and coal industries: “Reducing Emissions of Methane Every Day of the Year” (REMEDY) (DE-FOA-0002504). The REMEDY program seeks highly replicable system-level technical solutions that achieve an overall methane... Read more →


Study finds methane emissions from coal mines ~50% higher than previously thought

The amount of methane released into the atmosphere as a result of coal mining is likely approximately 50% higher than previously estimated, according to research presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The research was done by a team at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific... Read more →


DOE to award $28.35M for R&D on advanced processing of rare earth elements and critical minerals from coal-based resources

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced $28.35 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under the Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0002404, Advanced Processing of Rare Earth Elements and Critical Minerals for Industrial and Manufacturing Applications. The US imports more than half... Read more →


DOE to award $160M to improve fossil-based hydrogen production, transport, storage, and utilization

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) plans to make $160 million in federal funding (DE-FOA-0002400) available to help recalibrate the US’ vast fossil-fuel and power infrastructure for decarbonized energy and commodity production. The funding, for cost-shared cooperative agreements, is aimed to develop technologies for the... Read more →


NETL to award $13M to GTI and partners to advance carbon capture technology

GTI and partners, The Ohio State University, Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC), and Trimeric Corporation (Trimeric), have been selected for award on a project to advance Ohio State’s transformational membrane technology to provide step-out reductions in CO2 capture cost and energy penalties. The US Department of Energy National Energy Technology... Read more →


DOE Coal FIRST Initiative invests $80M in net-zero carbon electricity and hydrogen plants

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has selected four projects for cost-shared research and development under the funding opportunity announcement (FOA), DE-FOA-0002180, Design Development and System Integration Design Studies for Coal FIRST Concepts. When fully negotiated and awarded, it is estimated that approximately $80 million... Read more →


DOE awards $1.95M for conceptual designs that extract critical minerals and rare earth elements from coal sources

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy selected 13 projects to receive approximately $1.95 million in federal funding to develop conceptual designs of commercially viable technologies that will extract rare earth elements (REEs) from US coal and coal by-product sources. Each project will receive up to $150,000... Read more →


DOE to award $30M to develop small-scale solid oxide fuel cell systems and hybrid energy systems

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) has announced up to $30 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development projects under a funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0002300) for Small-Scale Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems and Hybrid Energy Systems. This FOA seeks to develop advanced technologies... Read more →


A comprehensive three-year scientific study into the air, water and soil impacts of hydraulic fracturing (HF) in coal seam gas (CSG) in Queensland, Australia has found little to no impacts on air quality, soils, groundwater and waterways. The study also found current water treatment technology used for treating water produced... Read more →


by Michael Sivak, Sivak Applied Research. Battery electric vehicles are only as clean as the energy source used to generate the electricity that powers them. The calculated relative amounts of well-to-wheels emissions of greenhouse gases from eight different energy sources are shown in the table below. (The calculations were based... Read more →


The Intermountain Power Agency (IPA) has awarded Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) a contract for two M501JAC power trains for the Intermountain Power Plant (IPP) in Delta, Utah. (Earlier post.) This award marks the first Advanced Class Gas Turbines in the industry specifically designed and purchased as part of a... Read more →


Rare earth elements (REEs) are vital materials for modern technologies. The US National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is collaborating with the University of Kentucky and their subcontractor Virginia Tech to demonstrate a novel process for the extraction of REEs from coal using plasma. REEs, which represent the 15 elements of... Read more →


DOE announces $64M for research into future coal power plants

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $64 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects under the funding opportunity announcement (DE-FOA-0002057), “Critical Components for Coal FIRST Power Plants of the Future.” DOE’s Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, Transformative) initiative is intended to develop... Read more →


New investment in wind, solar, and other clean energy projects in developing nations dropped sharply in 2018, largely due to a slowdown in China. While the number of new clean power-generating plants completed stayed flat year-to-year, the volume of power derived from coal surged to a new high, according to... Read more →


DOE awards $56.5M to 32 coal technology projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $56.5 million in federal funding to 32 cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects for advanced coal technologies and research under six separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The projects cover a range of topics, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage; rare earth element... Read more →


DOE to award up to $100M for future coal plants in Coal FIRST initiative

The US Department of Energy (DOE) intends to provide up to $100 million in awards (DE-FOA-0002116) for the Coal FIRST (Flexible, Innovative, Resilient, Small, and Transformative) initiative (announced in November 2018), which aims to develop coal plants of the future that will provide secure, stable, reliable power with near-zero emissions.... Read more →


Although Germany, the UK, US, Canada and Ukraine are phasing out domestic coal production capacity, expansion of production capacity in countries such as India and Indonesia is predicted to generate modest annual growth of 1.3% in coal production over the next four years, with output reaching 7.6 billion tonnes in... Read more →


New catalyst opens door to CO2 capture in coal-to-liquids process

World energy consumption projections expect coal to stay one of the world’s main energy sources in the coming decades, and a growing share of it will be used in CT—the conversion of coal to liquid fuels (CTL). Researchers from the National Institute of Clean-and-Low-Carbon Energy in Beijing and Eindhoven University... Read more →


West Virginia University (WVU) researchers are opening a new facility to capture rare earth elements (REEs) from acid mine drainage (AMD) from coal mining. Through a collaborative research and development program with the US Department of Energy (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), WVU is opening the Rare Earth Extraction... Read more →


Bloomberg NEF forecasts falling battery prices enabling surge in wind and solar to 50% of global generation by 2050

Wind and solar power generation will surge to almost 50% of world generation by 2050 (“50 by 50”), supported by precipitous reductions in cost, and the advent of cheaper and cheaper batteries that will enable electricity to be stored and discharged to meet shifts in demand and supply, according to... Read more →


The Australian, Japanese and Victorian governments and a consortium of companies have launched the pilot of an innovative supply chain that will deliver liquefied hydrogen from the Latrobe Valley in Australia to Japan. The Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) project will convert brown coal from the AGL Loy Yang mine... Read more →


DOE awarding $6.5M to 9 large-scale Phase I pilot coal projects

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have selected nine projects to receive approximately $6.5 million in federal funding for Phase I of the Fossil Fuel Large-Scale Pilots funding opportunity announcement (FOA). This FOA, issued in August 2017, is... Read more →