Commercializing the Aluminum-Cerium Alloy: A Portfolio of R&D Projects
CMI Hub makes key step to process rare earth metals in United States
CMI wins awards in 2023 R&D 100 program
Hongyue Jin named LCA rising star
Accurate model describes rare earths in aqueous solutions
Development of a one-step magnet swarf bioleaching process
Patents issued for new processes high coercivity magnets
Treatment of phosphoric acid sludge for economic recovery of rare earths
Current CMI news and research highlights are in CMI Phase III
Link to see the most up-to-date CMI news and research highlights in CMI Phase III, which started in 2023
The Critical Materials Innovation Hub operated as the Critical Materials Institute from when it launched in 2013 with its first operational phase of five years (2013-2018), through its second operational phase of five years (2018-2023). CMI focuses on technologies that make better use of materials and eliminate the need for materials that are subject to supply disruptions.
These critical materials are essential for American competitiveness in clean energy. Many materials deemed critical by the U.S. Department of Energy are used in modern clean energy technologies, including wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient lighting. The Department’s 2011 Critical Materials Strategy reported that supply challenges for five rare earth metals may affect clean energy technology deployment in the coming years.
During its second five years, CMI began with a focus on "critical" rare earths and "near-critical" materials dysprosium, terbium,europium,neodymium and yttrium, as well as lithium and tellurium. Beginning in July 2019, CMI focused on rare earth materials, battery materials (lithium, cobalt, manganese, graphite), indium and gallium.
The Ames National Laboratory, formerly known as Ames Laboratory, has served as lead institution for the CMI Team, which during CMI Phase II included from three other national laboratories, universities and dozens of members of industry.
The Critical Materials Institute from 2018 to 2023 conducted research through dozens of projects arranged in four Focus Areas:
- Diversifying Supply
- Developing Substitutes
- Driving Reuse & Recycling
- Crosscutting Research
These projects have ended. Most ended at the end of CMI Year 10, which was extended to September 30, 2023. Eight ended through the annual portfolio review process. Three OIP projects ended as of June 30, 2023: news release | process | FAQ
CMI also conducts work in education, outreach and workforce development. During CMI Phase 2: 2018-2023, this included regular webinars and updating the museum exhibit annually. A variety of activities are summarized on this page (link) and by year: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019