U.S. Department of Energy Announces $44 Million to Develop Technologies that Sustainably Increase Domestic Critical Elements Supplies

ARPA-E Seeks to Develop Net-Zero or Net Negative Processes to Grow Minerals Supply Chain

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $44 million in funding to support projects developing commercial-ready technologies that give the United States a net-zero or net negative emissions pathway toward increased domestic supplies of critical elements required for the transition to clean energy. 
The funding program, administered by DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), supports the Biden administration’s goal to significantly increase domestic research and development, manufacturing, and supply chains. 
“If we’re going to be a strong, economically secure, innovative nation, we need the building blocks of the technologies that help us get there,” said Dr. Jennifer Gerbi, ARPA-E Deputy Director for Technology. “A reliable domestic supply chain of the critical elements that enable longer-lasting batteries, advanced electronics, and other next-generation energy technologies is crucial to our future. When we use novel mining processes that save energy and carbon to do this, it is a win-win.” 
The program—Mining Innovations for Negative Emissions Resource Recovery (MINER)—aims to develop commercially scalable technologies that would enable greater domestic supplies of copper, nickel, lithium, cobalt, rare earth elements, and other critical elements. The lack of a secure domestic supply of these minerals poses a significant supply chain risk for the United States, especially with regard to batteries, renewable generation, and transmission. Specifically, ARPA-E seeks to support the development of technologies to:  

  • Decrease comminution energy (energy involved with breaking up minerals to therefore extract); 

  • Increase yield of energy-relevant minerals; 

  • Sequester CO2 in CO2-reactive minerals; and 

  • Develop methods to model sensing, analyzing and enabling carbonation potential and mineralization in CO2-reactive geologic formations.

For more information on ARPA-E’s MINER program, visit the MINER program page, and for applicant requirements and deadlines guidelines, visit ARPA-E eXCHANGE