A Beatrice company is teaming with a nationally known research institute on a project for the U.S. Department of Energy.
Beatrice-based Rare Earth Salts and Columbus, Ohio-based Battelle announced Wednesday that they are collaborating on a "potentially groundbreaking project" to recover rare earth elements from coal fly ash.
The project is for the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory and is funded by an $875,000 grant.
The project will combine Rare Earth Salts' proprietary separation and purification process with Battelle's acid-digestion process to extract rare earth elements from coal ash in an environmentally safe manner, while converting them to a saleable product.
Rare earth elements are metals that have similar chemical properties and also tend to occur in the same ore deposits. Coal fly ash is a byproduct produced by burning coal.