The Elements of Innovation Discovered

(7) stories found containing 'unconventional critical mineral solutions'

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  • Blue-colored lithium brine fills square holes cut into white salt flats.

    The 'white gold' rush for lithium

    K. Warner, For Data Mine North|Updated Sep 11, 2023

    Lithium is an indispensable element in the clean energy transition for several key reasons; like all alkaline metals on the periodic table, it has one more electron than it strictly needs, and this tendency to shed electrons makes it well-suited for passing them back and forth between cathode and anode, charging and discharging thousands of times without degradation. Pure lithium does not occur in nature, but traces are found throughout nearly all igneous rocks, mineral... Full story

  • DOE rare earths REE refinery US domestic supply chain EV battery lithium-ion

    DOE eyes unconventional REE refinery

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 8, 2023

    Looking to break America's reliance on China for rare earths and critical minerals, the U.S. Department of Energy is investing $140 million to develop a facility that extracts these minerals from unconventional sources and then refines them into the metals needed for electric vehicles, renewable energy generation, and other modern technologies. These technological advances are creating new demand for a suite of minerals and metals that are often rare and in short supply. In... Full story

  • The basalt cliffs overlooking the coast at Wallula Gap in Washington.

    PNNL studies carbon negative REE mining

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 13, 2022

    Chosen as one of 16 projects across 12 states, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's "Re-Mining Red Mud Waste for CO2 Capture and Storage and Critical Element Recovery" (RMCCS-CER) project will receive $1 million in funding to advance a technology that may kill two birds with one stone in the race for critical materials. Announced in November, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Mining Innovations for Negative...

  • A creek colored bright orange from metals dissolved in the acidic water.

    DOE seeks unconventional critical minerals

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Sep 20, 2022

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced $156 million in funding for a first-of-a-kind facility to extract and separate rare earth elements and critical minerals from unconventional sources like mining waste. As rare earths and other critical minerals are key to manufacturing clean energy technologies here in America – such as solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells – industries from all ends of the supply chain have been seeking to fulfill the...

  • A satellite view of a coal ash landfill in Pennsylvania.

    Outside-the-box critical mineral sources

    A.J. Roan, Data Mine North|Updated Sep 12, 2022

    Coal ash, acid drainage, and tailings for future green economy As the world continues to prime itself for the global energy shift, academia, governments and the private sector are scrambling to extract the valuable minerals and metals necessary to power the low-carbon renewable future – resulting in some truly innovative and unconventional methods. In addition to the rare earths, cobalt, lithium, and other technology metals that capture headline attention, this list often miss... Full story

  • Pennsylvania mining waste lithium Penn State Critical Minerals Alliances

    Historic mining for future battery metals

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 28, 2021

    Pennsylvanian coal helped to fuel America's Industrial Revolution, and mines in the Keystone State have since provided a domestic source of iron ore, cobalt, nickel, and various other metals. Now, researchers at Pennsylvania State University have identified a potential motherlode of battery metals to feed into America's EV Revolution in waste left behind by more than two centuries of mining in the commonwealth. "Preliminary estimates indicate that waste left by coal mining... Full story

  • coal waste recycling Phoenix Tailings rare earth elements lithium cobalt ash

    Unconventional critical mineral solutions

    Shane Lasley, Data Mine North|Updated Sep 14, 2021

    From electric vehicles plugged into renewable energy to smartphones connected to 5G networks, new technologies take advantage of the special properties of a suite of critical minerals and metals that are often rare and in short supply. In addition to the rare earths, cobalt, lithium, and other technology metals that capture headline attention, this list includes even more obscure mined materials such as gallium, germanium, scandium, and tellurium. While scarce, these critical... Full story