The first project Albemarle is partnering on is aiming to create a new production pathway to go directly from lithium chloride to lithium hydroxide.
The second would examine how lithium salts could improve cathode performance to extend battery life for electric vehicles.
The department selected 13 research projects last week, to receive combined funding of almost US$15 million.
It's part of its efforts to create and sustain global leadership in energy storage utilisation and exports, with a secure domestic manufacturing supply chain of critical materials.
Albemarle said the first project, "Advanced Brine Processing to Enable US Lithium Independence," was in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory.
"Successful execution of the first project will allow for more efficient utilisation of the lithium brine resource in the Clayton Valley area of Nevada and a new pathway to a critical lithium material," VP and chief technology officer lithium Dr Glen Merfeld said.
"The technology could also help make US geothermal and oilfield brines more economical, including our brine reserves in Magnolia, Arkansas.
"Through the second project, we will learn how tailored lithium salts can further improve cathode performance, leading to more energy dense and longer life lithium ion batteries."
This project, "Scaling Up of High-Performance Single Crystalline Ni-rich Cathode Materials with Advanced Lithium Salts," would be done in partnership with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
Albemarle (NYSE: ALB) shares are headed back up towards the US$100 mark, a level last seen two years ago.
They touched a one-year high intraday before closing up 2.3% to $99.65.
At that price it's capitalised at $10.6 billion.