Xiaofeng Guo.

Xiaofeng Guo, an assistant professor of chemistry at Washington State University, is part of a national team of scientists that recently received $39 million in funding to develop market-ready technologies to increase domestic supplies of critical elements required for the clean energy transition.

The Department of Energy-funding will support 16 projects across 12 states to develop commercially scalable technologies that will enable greater domestic supplies of copper, nickel, lithium, cobalt, rare earth, and other critical elements.

The objective of Guo’s project, “Mining Red Mud Waste for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage and Critical Element Recovery,” is to use supercritical carbon dioxide to recover critical elements, especially rare earth elements, from aluminum production wastes (red mud).

The project is led by Xin Zhang, chemical engineer of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington, joined by Arizona State University Professor Alexandra Navrotsky, who was Guo’s PhD advisor and donor for the Alexandra Navrotsky Institute for Experimental Thermodynamics at WSU.

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