Hoeven: DOE Awards $1.5 Million Contract to UND for Rare Earth Elements Research

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE) and National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have awarded a two-year, $1.5 million contract to the University of North Dakota (UND). The funds will be used to sample and characterize coal-based resources from around the country that contain high concentrations of rare earth elements (REEs). 

UND will also use the funds to perform a study on methods used to measure the concentration of REEs in coal-based resources. Today’s funds are in addition to a $2.75 million grant awarded in August by DOE to UND’s Institute for Energy Studies (IES) to advance research to extract REEs from lignite coal and coal-related material.

“UND is already pioneering important research to find ways to extract rare earth elements from our lignite coal in North Dakota,” Hoeven said. “With today’s funding from DOE, UND will now also be able to sample and characterize rare earth elements from coal resources from around the country, building on current efforts to determine and extract these elements. These research efforts are not only important for our energy industry, but also have implications for our national security, possibly positioning the U.S. as a leading producer of these widely used resources.”