Funding Notice: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) Studies for Production of Critical Minerals and Materials (CMM) from Coal-Based Resources

Office: Resource Sustainability
FOA number: DE-FOA-0002854
Download the full funding opportunity: FedConnect
Funding Amount: $32 million

Background Information

On February 15, 2024, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced over $17 million for three projects that will support the design and construction of facilities that produce rare earth elements and other critical minerals and materials from coal-based resources. The projects, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, may strengthen domestic supply chains, helping to meet the growing demand for critical minerals and materials and reduce reliance on unreliable foreign sources. Rare earth elements and other critical minerals and materials are key to manufacturing clean energy technologies here in America—such as solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells. Coal and coal production waste contain valuable rare earth elements that can be used to manufacture clean energy technology components, creating high-quality jobs in communities that have historically produced fossil fuels and helping to combat climate change.

The United States currently imports more than 80% of rare earth elements, but rare earth elements naturally occur all around us, including in our domestic coal and coal wastes, which comprise more than 250 billion tons of coal reserves, over 4 billion tons of waste coal, and about 2 billion tons of coal ash. DOE seeks to tap this unconventional resource to help build a domestic supply chain critical to the U.S. economy, clean energy, and national security. 

This funding is provided from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Section 41003(b). 


Three projects were selected for negotiation to support the development of FEED studies for potential future intermediate- and/or demonstration-scale facilities for the extraction, separation, and production of rare earth elements and other critical minerals and materials from unconventional resources. 

Awardees include:

  • The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Winner Water Services, Inc.
  • Tetra Tech, Inc. 

A detailed list of the selected projects can be found here.

Key Dates

NOI Issue Date: 10/12/2022
FOA Issue Date: 7/13/2023
Submission Deadline for Full Applications: 9/11/2023 at 5:00 PM ET
Expected Date for Selection Notifications: January 2024
Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: April 2024

Additional Information


Last Updated: February 16, 2024