The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles from the January 17, 2024 edition


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  • Fully equipped army soldier enters area with smoke and fire at night.

    Pentagon prioritizes critical minerals

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    Reshoring mineral supply chains lost to globalization is a key part of DOD National Defense Industrial Strategy The urgency to onshore critical mineral supply chains in the United States has begun to shift away from a need to secure reliable sources of the minerals and metals needed to support the nation's economy and clean energy ambitions toward the need for these same mined commodities to defend American ideals and interests at home and abroad. "Establishing a fully... Full story

  • Metal 3D printed parts made from high entropy alloy.

    Testing the limits of high entropy alloys

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    DOE national lab verifies stronger and more flexible 3D-printed metal. As additive manufacturing continues to shift from hobbyist to mainstream, research has ramped up to delve deeper into its expansive applications. A significant focus lies in the materials, such as those being called high-entropy alloys, that unlock unprecedented compositions unattainable through conventional methods. This innovation being explored by scientists has now been examined to its very atomic...

  • A Norwegian flag dips into the blue waters of the North Sea.

    Norway's stormy deep-sea mining vote

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    This week, Norway's parliament, with cross-party support, voted 80 to 20 in favor of opening roughly 108,000 square miles of Arctic seabed to mineral exploration and potential mining between Norway and Greenland near the Svalbard archipelago. Energy transition minerals cobalt, nickel, copper, zinc, and manganese can all be found in greater quantities than in our terrestrial mines as potato-sized nodules scattered across the abyssal depths of the seafloor. These accretions are...

  • A metallic dragon with its claws on a graphite stone and the Chinese flag.

    Next US-China trade clash: graphite

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 24, 2024

    In December, China implemented new export controls on graphite, further compounding trade tensions with the United States and other Western nations. This decision reinforces concerns over the fragility of the West's over-reliance on import monopolies and serves to intensify the ongoing search for alternative sources that would otherwise have been considered economically unattractive. Outside of its use in electric vehicle batteries, an application that is rocketing its...

  • Rows of Tiamat-branded sodium-ion batteries on display.

    Stellantis invests in Tiamat sodium-ion

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 24, 2024

    Aluminum-sulfur, iron-phosphate, nickel-hydride, solid-state, redox flow, molten-salt, the growing list of potential alternatives to lithium-ion batteries has exploded onto the scene in the past few years as experts quickly determined a single battery technology could not withstand the torrent of technologies vital to power a future of clean, sustainable energy. One of the most promising contenders is sodium-ion batteries, and with support from automaker giant Stellantis, it...

  • Graphic of drill fracturing a rock for an enhanced geothermal system.

    Have enhanced geothermal, will travel

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 24, 2024

    Naturally occurring hydrothermal systems have always been a limited, localized energy source, offering steady production that doesn't vary with the weather or time of day – as long as there are very specific conditions of heat, water, and permeable rock. These specific conditions do not always occur where energy is needed, which is a primary reason why geothermal power provides less than 1% of global renewable energy capacity. Recent advances in the emerging technology of...

  • A miner in safety gear plugs an electric underground loader into a charger.

    Codelco orders Epiroc digital solutions

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 24, 2024

    World's largest copper producer is implementing digital solutions to optimize safety and productivity; lays groundwork for automation. The world's top copper producer, Codelco, has turned to Epiroc to provide digital solutions that will improve productivity, sustainability, and safety at its mines in Chile. State-owned Codelco has long worked closely with Epiroc to provide equipment and digital solutions at its copper mines. Last August, this longtime business relationship...

  • Computer rendering of the Stardust Power lithium refinery plant.

    Muskogee to be home to Stardust refinery

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 16, 2024

    Oklahoma port town selected as ideal location to build refinery that produces battery-grade lithium for energy transition. Further solidifying its plans to offer a domestic supply of the lithium needed for America's energy transition, Stardust Power Inc. has selected Southside Industrial Park in Muskogee, Okla., as the home of a refinery that is slated to produce enough battery-grade lithium for roughly 1 million sedan sized electric vehicles per year. "When fully operational,...

  • Georgia Power’s Vogtle 4 nuclear power reactor in Waynesboro, Georgia.

    DOE reports exciting nuclear watch list

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 16, 2024

    After successful incentives and mobilization, federal agency says to keep eyes peeled for more development. With a resurgence of nuclear energy in 2022 marking possibly the most significant year for nuclear energy since its inception, 2023 was the year to see if legislation put forth by the Biden administration to reinvigorate this stigmatized power supply would lift off. And according to the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy, it appears to have been a...

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