The Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Technologies Office's (AMMTO) Critical Minerals and Materials portfolio addresses high-impact opportunities and challenges across the entire life cycle of high priority critical minerals and materials for energy technologies. The United States lacks a strong domestic supply of many minerals and materials which will be critical to a decarbonized energy infrastructure as well as current manufacturing technologies. These include:
- Rare earth elements, used in offshore wind turbine generators and electric vehicle motors;
- Lithium, cobalt, and high-purity nickel, used in energy storage technologies;
- Platinum group metals used in catalysts for automotive, chemical, fuel cell, and green hydrogen products; and
- Gallium and germanium used in semiconductors.
The DOE critical minerals & materials strategy is based on the following pillars:
- Diversifying supplies of critical minerals and materials;
- Developing alternatives to critical minerals and materials;
- Improving materials and manufacturing efficiency;
- Investing in circular-economy approaches; and
- Enabling activities such as criticality assessments.