Department of Energy to research rare earth recycling

Department of Energy to research rare earth recycling

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Preparing for a potential domestic shortage of rare earth metals, the U.S. Department of Energy has announced that it will establish a new research center to examine ways to keep a steady of supply of these increasingly valuable materials.

The Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa has been awarded up to $120 million over five years to establish a research hub that will develop solutions to potential shortages of rare earths and other materials. The new research center is dubbed the Critical Materials Institute and will bring together researchers from academia, the private sector and four Department of Energy's national laboratories.

The new hub will focus on technologies that will help the U.S. make better use of the materials that are currently accessible in existing electronics. It will also look at ways to eliminate the need for materials that are subject to supply disruptions. CMI will build on existing research programs and will seek to address challenges across the entire life cycle of these materials, including more efficient use of rare earths in manufacturing, recycling and reuse.

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