$17 Mil-Plus in Fed Funds Toward Construction of 3 Critical Minerals Projects

February 15, 2024|

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Dept. of Energy on Feb. 15 announced more than $17 million from the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act legislation that will help provide design and construction funding to build three projects centered on producing rare earth elements.

Rare earth elements and other critical minerals, according to the DOE, are essential to manufacturing clean-energy technologies in the U.S. – including those that support the production of solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells. Coal and coal production waste contain valuable rare earth elements that can be utilized to manufacture clean-energy technology components.

The U.S. currently imports more than 80 percent of rare earth elements, but rare earth elements naturally occur all around us – including in domestic coal and coal wastes, which comprise more than 250 billion tons of coal reserves, more than 4 billion tons of waste coal and approximately 2 billion tons of coal ash.

DOE officials say they’re seeking to tap this unconventional resource to help build a domestic supply chain critical to the U.S. economy, clean energy and national security.

Here are the three designated projects:

  1. The Board of Trustees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Champaign, Ill.): construction of a fully integrated, vertidxcal supply chain located entirely within the state of Illinois for production of select critical minerals from coal-based sources;
  2. Winner Water Services, Inc. (Sharon, Penn.): construction of a facility that processes recovered rare earth minerals from coal ash while preparing the coal ash for the concrete market;
  3. Tetra Tech, Inc. (Houston, Texas): constructgion of a plant to produce critical minerals from coal byproducts (underclay) while processing the clays to a salable grade.

DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory, under the purview of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, will manage the selected projects.


View Our Latest Print Edition

Fresh Content
Direct to Your Inbox


Join CNR Magazine today as a Content Partner

As a CNR Content Partner, CNR Magazine promises to support you as you build, design and engineer projects not only in and around St. Louis, but also across the U.S. CNR is equipped and ready to deliver a dynamic digital experience paired with the top-notch, robust print coverage for which you’ve always known and respected the magazine.