‘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.’
The US Department of Energy (DoE) is providing $30 million in funding for 13 national laboratory and university-led projects, which are aimed at securing the domestic supply of rare earth and platinum group element. These are critical for many clean-energy and high-tech applications including emissions control and rechargeable batteries.
The research will specifically focus on diversification of supply, development of substitutes and improvement in the reuse and recycling of rare earth and platinum group elements. In a statement of DoE said: ‘The limited domestic supply of critical materials, and reliance on imports from other nations, presents a significant risk to clean energy technology production.’
The DoE added that the research could enable new approaches to the atomic-level design of key materials and potentially reduce or even eliminate the need to the rare earth and platinum group elements in clean energy applications.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm commented: ‘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.’
The research projects range from single to multi-institution efforts and are led by ten universities and three National Laboratories. The projects will run for three years. The DoE added that the projects will support the National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries, which has the goal of maintaining and advancing US battery technology research and development leadership.