Researchers examining rare elements in North Dakota coal
GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Researchers plan to spend the next year looking at whether it might be possible to recover some of the rare elements used to make magnets for electric motors and cell phones, batteries and other high-tech products from North Dakota’s coal seams.
It’s already been proven that some rare earth elements and other critical minerals can be found in the state’s coal, but it’s not clear whether there is enough of those elements to make it economical to produce them.
Currently, most of the world’s rare earth elements come from China.
The $2.45 million University of North Dakota research project received state and federal grants and financial backing from the coal industry.