The Elements of Innovation Discovered

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  • Vanadium colors aqueous solution for flow redox rechargeable batteries

    Vanadium fuels growing demand for VRFBs

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 8, 2023

    Vanadium, which is in high demand today for its ability to strengthen steel alloys – specifically for manufacturing high-strength, low alloy rebar used in earthquake-resistant construction around the globe, as well as automotive, aerospace and military applications – is gradually gaining ground in the renewable energy sector. The hard, silvery-gray metal is the 22nd most abundant element in the Earth's crust, though it is rarely found naturally in its metallic form. Ins... Full story

  • REE rare earth magnets MRI magnetic resonance imaging medical diagnostic

    Rare earth metals see new medical uses

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 8, 2023

    While the importance of rare earth metals is widely acknowledged in manufacturing sophisticated devices for use in space, defense, clean, green and consumer technologies, the increasingly innovative and effective roles REE are playing in the development of new medicines and medical technologies get little public attention. New developments in medical technology are expected to increase the use of surgical lasers, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography... Full story

  • nitinol nickel-titanium alloy Mars rover NASA aerospace memory metal

    Shape memory metal gets new job on Mars

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 8, 2023

    Two metals, nickel and titanium, come together in a unique alloy that is gaining popularity in new applications, including in outer space. Known as "nitinol," this high-demand metal is prized for its ability to snap back to a heat-trained shape after being pulled, twisted or deformed. Accidentally discovered by metallurgist William Buehler at the Navy Ordinance Laboratories in 1959, nitinol has been used in increasingly sophisticated applications over the years, finding... Full story

  • Thermoelectric generator TEG University of Colorado Boulder wearables

    New device turns the body into a battery

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 16, 2023

    While thermoelectric generators are proving useful in a growing number of modern applications, ranging from electric vehicles to spacecraft, a new potential use for the technology has emerged that could give a whole new meaning to the phrase, "personal electronic device." Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a new, low-cost wearable device that uses tiny thermoelectric generators with liquid metal wiring to transform the human body into a... Full story

  • nuclear fusion world record JET facility Joint European Torus tokamak energy

    Scientists break fusion power record

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    The quest to generate clean energy like that produced inside our Sun and other stars moved a step closer to reality recently when scientists in the United Kingdom broke the record for power released in a sustained fusion reaction. In early February, scientists at the Joint European Torus (JET) facility reported producing 59 megajoules of energy over five seconds (11 megawatts of power) in a fusion reaction, more than doubling the previous record of 21.7 megajoules set in 1997...

  • Seurat Technologies 3D metal printing additive manufacturing sintering

    Innovator touts new 3D printing tech

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    A high-tech company, Seurat Technologies, intends to make the most of its innovation in the emerging world of metal 3D printing and in the process, revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are manufactured. The Wilmington, Mass.-based startup is touting its new process as the key to not only cutting the costs of mass manufacturing but also dramatically reducing the sector's carbon footprint. A new industry 3D printing, also called additive...

  • RMIT University Australia copper antimicrobial virucidal SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

    Scientists develop rapid bacteria killer

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    Scientists in Australia have developed a copper material that kills deadly bacteria two minutes after contact and could prove effective in destroying SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A team from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, working in collaboration with CSIRO, the science research agency of the Australia government, reported in the January 2022 edition of the scientific journal, "Biomaterials," that the copper innovation kills bacteria more than 100...

  • recycling rare earth elements REE neodymium Pennsylvania State University

    Scientists find new way to recycle REE

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    As rapidly advancing technology leaves behind printed circuit boards, old computers, obsolete televisions, and other electrical devices, mountains of electronic waste, or e-waste, being stockpiled around the world is becoming a major environmental concern. Considered the fastest-growing waste stream in the developed world, scientists and policymakers worry that these end-of-life products are spawning environmental contamination and seepage into the world's food chain. Others,...

  • graphene Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT wonder material 2D

    Scientists report graphene breakthroughs

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    The explosion of scientific research into the properties and potential benefits of graphene since the material was first identified nearly two decades ago continues to yield substantial results. Ultrathin materials made of a single layer of atoms have riveted scientists' attention since the isolation of graphene. Among the exciting advances made by researchers since that time include the discovery that stacking individual sheets of the carbon-based 2D materials and sometimes...

  • COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus testing Pennsylvania University graphite

    Graphite plays key role in COVID tests

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 12, 2022

    The furious pace of scientific and academic research into ways to curb the spread of COVID-19 and other highly infectious diseases is yielding impressive results this summer. Researchers say testing is key to understanding and controlling the spread of COVID-19, which has already taken more than four million lives around the world. However, current tests are limited by the tradeoff between accuracy and the time it takes to analyze a sample. Another challenge of current COVID... Full story

  • Canada Silver Cobalt Works EV batteries electric vehicles Re-2Ox recycling REE

    Junior seeks to recycle EV batteries

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Canada Silver Cobalt Works Inc. has developed an innovative extraction process designed to economically remove and recycle various minerals and metals from spent electric vehicle batteries. The junior mining company's Re-2Ox closed-loop process is designed to produce cobalt sulfate to industry specifications for reuse in new EV batteries. Canada Silver Cobalt recently hired SGS Canada to design and build a pilot plant in anticipation of bringing the benefits of its...

  • UC Berkeley Adam Uliana desalination technology water purification extraction

    Method can filter metals out of water

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley reported April 17 the discovery of a method for simplifying the removal of toxic metals such as mercury and boron to produce clean water, while at the same time potentially capturing valuable metals, such as gold. The research targets improvements in treatments currently applied either before or after desalination – the removal of salt – in the process of producing drinkable water, or water for agriculture or industry, fro...

  • SARS-CoV-2 SonoMasks Sonovia virucidal antimicrobial zinc oxide textiles fabric

    Zinc-infused mask fights coronavirus

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Among a growing number of facial masks infused with minerals that innovators around the globe have brought to the market in recent months to help stop the spread of the coronavirus infection, SonoMask is one touted by its makers as being the only mask proven to neutralize the virus and provide nearly 100% protection. Engineered by an Israeli company, Sonovia Ltd., the mask resulted from researchers applying antimicrobial technology developed in 2013 to produce a reusable face... Full story

  • tungsten critical mineral Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute aqueous electrolyte

    Tungsten fills niche in new innovations

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    President-elect Joe Biden's plans to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure and move the world's biggest economy toward greener policies is brightening the outlook for base metals, including tougher-than-nails tungsten. Many countries, including the United States, have designated tungsten as a critical metal after China, which accounts for 80% of annual global tungsten production of 85,000 metric tons, have placed restrictions on its exports of the metal. Tungsten is often...

  • MIT scientists change optical electrical conductivity of diamonds with strain

    Diamonds can act like metals in devices

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Diamonds are well known as the hardest minerals on earth. The sparkling gemstones also are exceptional thermal conductors and electrical insulators. Now, an international team of researchers says diamonds have yet another distinction – they can exhibit the properties of metals. The discovery, first reported Oct. 5 in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," could write a new chapter in the saga of diamonds used in sophisticated technological and industrial a...

  • Silver in evolution of digital communications 3G 4G 5G

    Silver will play key role in 5G rollout

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    While rising gold prices are dominating the headlines, silver is quietly experiencing its own explosion in demand. The growing appetite for the lustrous, white metal stems in part from its use in components needed in rapidly evolving technologies, led by the voracious appetite of fifth generation (5G) telecommunications and related electronic applications and systems. But silver, long valued for its beauty and rarity, has been around for millennia. Other than in currency and a...

  • Swiss researchers titanium nanowire filter paper mask UV radiation covid-19

    Titanium dioxide drafted in COVID fight

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Researchers in a Swiss laboratory have developed a membrane made of titanium oxide nanowires with antibacterial and antiviral properties. The membrane, which resembles filter paper, may be used in the fight to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic more effectively than paper masks, which are increasingly becoming made mandatory, according to scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Lausanne, Switzerland. While the relative effectiveness of paper masks is no longer in...

  • Zinc8 zinc air grid scale rechargeable electric storage batteries

    Zinc makes in-roads in batteries market

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    While debate rages over whether lithium-ion and vanadium reflow energy storage systems will usher in the next wave of power generation, another technology, batteries that store energy using zinc, is moving into the market. Zinc batteries, especially the technology being marketed by Vancouver, British Columbia-based Zinc8 Energy Solutions, has attracted considerable attention in recent weeks with a new type of viable, lower-cost energy storage option for many large customers...

  • metal air scavenging robot eats aluminum oxide to produce electricity

    Researchers develop metal eating robots

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 10, 2022

    Mankind's use of minerals has evolved over the eons hand-in-hand with innovation. From the first crude fire starters and simple machines to the evolving wonders of the Information Age, human beings have looked to rocks and the minerals within them for the building blocks of technological advancement. Now comes an innovation that could change everything, especially for electronics that require their own power sources. University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed a...

  • Alaska Republican Senator Murkowski American Energy Innovations Act

    Energy legislation stalls in US Senate

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 2, 2022

    The American Energy Innovations Act, legislation hailed as Congress' best chance to modernize the nation's energy policies in more than 12 years, bogged down in the U.S. Senate in early March after a dispute erupted among several lawmakers over an amendment aimed at limiting hydrofluorocarbons emissions from home appliances. The legislation, introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and ranking committee member...

  • Scientists look to coal for REE solution

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 2, 2022

    As security concerns mount over the nearly total reliance of the United States on foreign sources of rare earth elements, mostly from China, researchers in public and private laboratories across the country are aggressively searching for ways to spur domestic production of these critical minerals in the face of rapidly growing global demand. Rare earths, which in reality are plentiful in natural settings, can be found most everywhere. But the prohibitive financial and environm...

  • Canada rare earth element niobium lithium project Northwest Territories

    Canada boasts substantial REE resources

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 1, 2022

    Rare earth elements in Canada have recaptured the spotlight now that the United States has entered a new alliance with its northern neighbor to develop robust supply chains for critical minerals needed for important manufacturing sectors, including communication technology, aerospace and defense, and clean technology. A final agreement between the two countries, reported in December, delivers on a commitment made by their leaders in June to advance joint initiatives to...

  • University New South Wales gallium CO2 capture carbon dioxide reduced emissions

    Team captures CO2 with liquid gallium

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Nov 2, 2021

    Researchers in Australia and the United States have proven that gallium in its liquid form can economically capture and convert substantial quantities of carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions. The process, reported in the Oct. 6 edition of Advanced Materials Journal, uses liquid gallium to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen and a high-value solid carbon product that can be sold to manufacturers of batteries, aircraft, or construction materials. "We see very strong... Full story

  • Airbus APworks scandium Rio Tinto rare earth critical metal Scandium

    Westerners chase scandium production

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 27, 2021

    Scandium, one of 35 minerals identified as being critical to future production of high-tech and industrial technologies in the West, is seeing a surge in mining and extraction activity in response to increasing demand for the soft, silvery metallic element. Scandium is not particularly rare – its occurrence in crustal rocks is around 22 parts per million. It is generally more plentiful than lead, mercury, and precious metals. Yet scandium rarely concentrates in nature, so t... Full story

  • Teck Resources Ltd. Bointerphases Washington University Dr. Marthe Charles

    Teck tests copper's antiviral powers

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 1, 2020

    In recent years, Teck Resources Ltd. has been working with healthcare officials around the world to bring copper to the frontlines in the urgent fight against bacteria and viruses harmful to the human body. Now Teck, one of the world's top copper producers, has joined the battle underway to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic by moving outside the healthcare field with a new pilot project in Vancouver that is using the red metal's formidable antimicrobial... Full story