(633a) Recovering Rare Earth Elements from Coal-Based Materials
In 2014, the Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy (DOE-FE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) performed an initial assessment and analysis of the feasibility of economically recovering rare earth elements (REEs) from coal and coal by-product streams, such as fly ash, coal refuse, and aqueous effluents. After reporting its findings in the DOE 2015 Report to Congress, the Department initiated a multi-year research and development program effort to demonstrate the technical feasibility and economic viability of separating and extracting REEs from domestic coal-based resource materials. Research efforts include design and construction of bench- and pilot-scale facilities to initially generate 2wt% REE pre-concentrates, and ultimately validation of 90-99%, high purity, salable, rare earth oxide (REO) production using conventional physical and chemical separation technologies in small pilot facilities by 2020. This presentation will provide an overview summary of DOE-NETLâs REE Program and technical accomplishments over the past four years.