The DOE has announced $30 million in new funding for 13 national lab and university-led research projects to develop new technologies to help secure the supply of critical clean tech materials, including cobalt, neodymium and platinum.
Research funded in this announcement is intended to advance the understanding of how rare-earth elements and platinum group elements give each material or molecule its unique properties. This research could enable new approaches to the atomic-level design of key materials and potentially reduce or even eliminate the need for these critical elements in clean energy applications. It’s also intended to widen the range of sources of these elements by identifying new mineral sources or facilitating reuse and recycling of existing materials.
“Expanding electric vehicle infrastructure, hardening our nation’s electrical grid, and powering our economy with millions of clean energy jobs all rely on securing supply chains of critical materials like cobalt and platinum,” said Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. “The key to our carbon-free future lies in ramping up clean industries, building strong supply chain systems of American-made critical materials, and aggressively deploying the resulting climate technologies here and abroad.”
Source: Department of Energy