Critical Minerals Working Group
The Energy@UT research community includes leading minds that have conducted breakthrough research on rare earth element and critical mineral resource identification, extraction, separation, and production.
Critical minerals (CM) are defined as materials that are essential technologies and subject to supply chain risks. CMs are utilized in batteries (e.g., lithium, cobalt) which are essential for sustaining the renewable energy transition. Rare earth elements (REEs) are utilized in magnets, computer chips, and other consumer products. CM and REE products are susceptible to both supply shortages and dependence on foreign exports.
The Center for Critical Materials at the University of Texas at Austin has a broad mission to maintain a safe, secure, diverse, and resilient supply chain of materials that are necessary for clean and renewable technologies. Our vision is to integrate academic research, technology innovation, and workforce development to enable research and technological advancements and foster technology transfers to industry.
- Develop an interdisciplinary research program with core expertise spanning the extraction, separation, and resource characterization of critical materials.
- Develop an educational workforce to train graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to become the next generation of scientists and engineers.
- Develop an educational partnership with community colleges and trade schools to foster training and job creation in renewable technologies and clean energy.
- Develop a collaborative organization structure to identify and acquire new funding sources.
- Develop an environment where research and technology can be translated to industry.