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BIL – Advanced Processing of Critical Minerals and Materials for Industrial and Manufacturing Applications

Open Date:

Opening expected Q3 2023

Close Date:

Upcoming Milestones:

Eligible Recipients:

Program Purpose:

  • Critical Minerals
  • Economic Development
  • Energy Infrastructure

Reserved for Energy



Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM)

Funded by:

U.S. Department of Energy


Rare earth elements (REE) and other critical minerals (CM) are key to manufacturing clean energy technologies right here in America—such as solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells—that will help the nation reach the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Extracting critical minerals from coal, coal waste, and associated byproducts and incorporating them into clean energy technology components will reduce our dependence on international supply chains, while creating good-paying jobs in communities that have historically produced fuels and electric power from fossil energy resources.

The United States currently imports greater than 80 percent of its rare earth elements from non-domestic suppliers. Similarly, in 2021 the United States imported more than half its consumption of at least 43 of the 50 mineral commodities critical to the U.S. economy and national security, with no domestic production of 14 of those commodities. If issued, a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) will follow the NOI and fund research projects for laboratory and bench-scale testing of economically viable, environmentally benign extraction, separation, and refining technologies for the domestic production of these rare earth elements and other critical minerals.

This proposed effort supports the re-establishment of the U.S. as a leader in the production of Critical Minerals and Materials (CMM) by developing economically viable, environmentally benign extraction, separation, and refining technologies. Strengthening these domestic capabilities will support the generation of sustainable U.S. domestic supply chains for onshore production of REE and other critical minerals (CM) for the clean energy, commercial commodities, and national defense industries thereby reducing our dependence on international supply chains, creating high quality U.S. jobs, and advancing the Administration’s goals of decarbonizing the electricity sector by 2035 and the economy by 2050. The FOA, if issued, will require projects to track and report on project results related to environmental impacts; environmental justice; community engagement; and consent-based siting, equity, and workforce development.

It is anticipated that DE-FOA-0002619 will continue the research path started as DE-FOA-0002404 Phase 1 that was released on January 15, 2021. DE-FOA-0002619 is intended to focus on laboratory/bench-scale testing of advanced concepts for production of CMM from coal-based resources.

The following Areas of Interest (AOIs) are envisioned:

AOI-1: Advanced Process Development for Production of Rare Earth Metals (REM) and Co-Production of Critical Minerals (CM) from Coal-Based Resources

Coal-based materials will be used to produce mixed rare earth oxides/mixed rare earth salts (MREO/MRES) and CM at ~90-99% purity in existing pilot-scale (or larger) facilities, and

  • A minimum of five (5) individually separated, high purity (ISHP) rare earth oxides/rare earth salts (REO/RES) at ∼90-99.99% purity, and
  • A minimum of five (5) individual or binary REM at a purity of ∼99.5-99.8%, and
  • A minimum of five (5) additional ~90-99% pure individual CM as oxides, salts or metals.

AOI-2: Production of Critical Minerals (CM) Excluding Rare Earth Elements (REE) from Coal-Based Resources

Coal-based materials will be used to produce,

  • A minimum of one (1) ~90-99% pure individual CM (non-REE) as oxide(s), salt(s) or metal(s).

The intended focus of DE-FOA-0002619 is:

  • Production of the AOI required materials at costs that are potentially lower (i.e., ~20%) than costs for producing these materials using currently available conventional separation and conversion technologies
  • Production of high purity MREO/MRES and CM from coal-based resources in existing pilot-scale (or larger) separation facilities
  • Design and development of advanced separation processes to produce ISHP REO/RES and CM from pilot (or larger) MREO/MRES and CM materials
  • Design and development of advanced processes to reduce high purity, separated REO/RES into high purity rare earth metals (REM)
  • Utilization of conventional or advanced processes to convert CM, other than REE, into CMoxides/salts/metals for use in either non-metals industry (i.e., catalysts, phosphors, etc.) or metals industry (i.e., permanent magnets, aerospace, etc.)
  • Integration of these technology advancements.

This Notice of Intent (NOI) is issued so that interested parties are aware of DOE’s intention to issue a FOA in the near term. Any and/or all information contained in this NOI is subject to change. Applications are not being accepted at this time.

DOE may issue a FOA as described in the NOI; may issue a FOA that is significantly different than the FOA described in the NOI; or may not issue a FOA at all.

Related Resources

Additional information is available on the Resources page.
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