Ma leads $2 million DOE project to curb climate change, critical minerals crisis

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On April 4, 2023
Two peoples standing in a lab.
Dr. Wenyu Liao, an assistant research professor, and Dr. Hongyan Ma, associate professor of civil engineering, at Missouri S&T. Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T

Dr. Hongyan Ma, Francisco Benavides Scholar and associate professor of civil engineering, was recently tapped by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to lead a $2 million grant project related to critical minerals and clean energy.

“Our work for this project will be a game-changer,” says Ma, “The aim of our research is to use a carbon mineralization reaction to improve the yield of energy-relevant critical minerals we recover from silicate materials.”

Since the silicate materials, which will primarily come from mine waste, are carbon-reactive, Ma’s team will be able to use them for carbon capture and storage purposes as well.

The project’s funding is part of ARPA-E’s Mining Innovations for Negative Emissions Resource Recovery (MINER) program, which is focused on developing technologies that can immediately help the U.S. increase its supply of critical minerals that are necessary for the country’s transition to clean energy.

The U.S. Geological Survey says 50 of the elements used for manufacturing count as critical minerals. Ma’s work will focus on nickel and cobalt are the two critical minerals that will be the focus of Ma’s work.

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On April 4, 2023. Posted in Accomplishments