The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles from the April 5, 2023 edition

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  • Stacks of reclaimed rare earths from Phoenix Tailings’ technology.

    Phoenix Tailings' first US REE refinery

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 2, 2023

    Highly promising startup reveals first commercial-scale rare earth element refinery in the US. Rising from the ashes, an American startup that was early in the field of rare earth element separation, Phoenix Tailings, has made a brilliant comeback with the announcement of the first rare earth refinery to begin production in the United States. Founded in 2018, Boston-based Phoenix Tailings had a significant head start at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seeing the potential...

  • The shape of a phoenix drawn into a pile of coal fly ash.

    Transforming a lump of coal into an EV

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 21, 2023

    DOE funds studies into processes for recovering rare earths and other critical minerals from coal waste streams and acid mine drainage. Looking to develop unconventional domestic sources of the rare earths needed for America's transition to low-carbon energy and transportation, while also providing forward-leaning job opportunities for the coal miners that powered the nation for more than a century, the U.S. Department of Energy is providing $16 million for the development of...

  • Photo of an EV chassis complete with battery pack and electric drive motors.

    LG invests 5.5 billion to build batteries

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 21, 2023

    Top electric vehicle battery manufacturer LG Energy Solution, which supplies Tesla and other automakers, announced on March 24 that it will invest approximately $5.5 billion in a complex in Queen Creek, Arizona. This investment marks the largest ever made for a stand-alone battery manufacturing facility in North America. Construction of the complex will break ground on two facilities this year; with $3.2 billion of the company's investment going to build a cylindrical EV...

  • The XSPEE3D mobile metal 3D printer is built into a typical shipping container.

    British Army to deploy SPEE3D print tech

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 21, 2023

    When examining additive manufacturing solutions, the military requires technology that can quickly produce parts from well-known metal alloys to address real-time needs and in the field wherever armed services are typically located – this is where Australia-based SPEE3D enters the battlefield. Founded in 2015, SPEE3D spun out of a successful engineering venture that provided the capital necessary for the founders to explore their next undertaking – additive manufacturing. What...

  • Rendering of the iSpace lunar lander preparing to land on the Moon.

    Epiroc, iSpace partner in Moon missions

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 21, 2023

    Epiroc, a leading Swedish equipment and tech innovator for the mining and infrastructure industries, has partnered up with Japanese automation and AI startup iSpace and its Luxembourg-based subsidiary iSpace EU in a long-term collaboration agreement for developing commercial Moon missions. International space agencies' attentions have been focused on the principal chemical elements of the lunar surface that would provide for self-sustaining lunar habitation and the mining of...

  • Concrete being poured at a construction site.

    MIT team bakes up lower CO2 concrete

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 21, 2023

    Solid and durable, concrete is the second-most consumed material on Earth, surpassed only by water. The gray, porous building material is also the foundation of modern infrastructure. But concrete leaves a hefty carbon footprint on the environment. During its manufacture, large quantities of carbon dioxide are released into the atmosphere, both as a chemical byproduct of cement production and in the energy required to fuel the process. Despite its advantages, which include...

  • Pile of electronic devices to be recycled at Redwood facility.

    Volkswagen to add Redwood bins to dealers

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 16, 2023

    After partnering together mid-2022, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., has expanded its existing collaboration with Redwood Materials Inc. by adding Redwood recycling bins at participating Volkswagen dealerships to conveniently recycle rechargeable devices or lithium-ion batteries. "Volkswagen's goal is to provide more accessible and more sustainable electric mobility for American drivers," said Andrew Savvas, executive vice president, chief sales and marketing officer,... Full story

  • Massive earthen dam holds back red mud tailings at aluminum mine in Brazil.

    From mining waste to building materials

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 14, 2023

    Canadian tech company EnviCore and nickel mining company Talon Metals are teaming up to pioneer a "full value mining" technology that converts mine waste into products for the building, construction, and infrastructure industries. This new technology has the potential to transform waste from nickel mining – called tailings – into additional products with added value for stakeholders. The resulting byproduct would replace primary raw materials in legacy cement and concrete prod... Full story