The U.S. Department of Energy plans to invest $122 million to establish new coal products innovation centers across the country, Kallanish Energy reports.
The proposed facilities will focus on manufacturing value-added, carbon-based products from coal.
The centers will also devise new methods to extract and process rare earth elements and critical minerals from coal.
At present, the U.S. imports many of those materials.
“It’s vitally important that America develop a viable domestic supply of rare earth elements, critical minerals, and other valuable products from our vast coal resources,” said Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette in a statement.
DOE said it expects to fund centers in multiple U.S. coal basins.
The exact number is unclear.
New and existing coalitions of private industry, academia, national laboratories, and state and local governments will be encouraged to compete to establish the centers.
Coal basins that could host such centers include the Appalachian Basin, the San Juan River-Raton-Black Mesa basin, the Illinois basin, the Uinta basin, the Williston basin, Green River-Wind River basin, the Gulf Coast-Black Warrior basin, and Alaska, DOE said.
That includes 22 states.
The centers will be established based on bids submitted to DOE.
The funding will come from DOE’s new Carbon Ore, Rare Earth, and Critical Minerals Initiative.
The program is expected to be launched in August.
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