The US DOE has announced up to $30 million in funding for R&D that focuses on extraction, separation, processing, validation and demonstration technologies for critical materials, including rare earth elements, which are essential to high-strength magnets used in EVs and wind turbines.
The DOE is working toward reducing both the costs of critical materials and the environmental impacts of production, in order to create a sustainable critical materials supply chain in the US.
“Through these investments, DOE is advancing research, development, and deployment across the entire critical materials supply chain to help strengthen America’s defense-industrial base,” said Undersecretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “With a new federal strategy in place and an increased commitment to collaboration across sectors, we are well on our way to securing the country’s supply of critical materials for generations to come.”
Applicants are encouraged to collaborate with the Critical Materials Institute (CMI), a DOE Energy Innovation Hub led by Ames National Laboratory. The DOE anticipates granting up to 10 awards. Application and submission requirements are on the EERE Exchange.
The DOE recently announced plans to provide up to $18 million for basic research to ensure the continued availability of rare earth elements—or effective substitutes—as part of a DOE-wide effort totaling more than $158 million in FY2020 funding.