The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles from the June 5, 2024 edition


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  • Amontree and Yan with wafers of synthesized graphene.

    Need better graphene? Use less oxygen.

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 11, 2024

    Engineers link lower graphene quality to oxygen levels during the processing stage and develop new techniques to make less flawed carbon nanomaterial at scale. Engineers at Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science, the University of Montreal, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed an oxygen-free chemical vapor deposition (OF-CVD) method for producing high-quality graphene that can create samples at scale. Their work, publishe...

  • Sign outside Global Tungsten & Powders facility in Towanda, Penn.

    GTP seeks to invest in Jervois cobalt

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 11, 2024

    Hopes funding may persuade company to co-locate cobalt refinery near existing tungsten operations in Pennsylvania. Marking a significant step in creating a domestic cobalt supply chain in the United States, Jervois Global Ltd. has entered into a non-binding explorative memorandum of understanding with Global Tungsten & Powders LLC (GTP) to advance the development of a major cobalt refinery. With Jervois already owning a cobalt mining project in Idaho and GTP operating a...

  • View of Ugitech’s Ugine steel plant in France.

    EU steel made with green hydrogen

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 11, 2024

    The trend towards increased sustainability within the steelmaking process, "green steel" practices are catching on around the world. Under a pioneering memorandum of understanding, Lhyfe will install a green hydrogen production unit at Ugitech's plant in Ugine, France, capable of generating around 13 tons of hydrogen per day. This comes at a time when "green steel" practices are making headlines around the world, from Boston Metal's molten electrolysis to Rio Tinto's latest...

  • A solar farm being lit by a sun setting in the background.

    Flash of light improves solar cells

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 11, 2024

    A novel light-based method enhances PbS quantum dot solar cells, promising cheaper and more efficient renewable energy. South Korean scientists have discovered a new method to enhance the efficiency of lead-sulfide (PbS) quantum dot solar cells. By using rapid bursts of specialized light instead of prolonged heating, they have found a way to produce cheaper and more effective solar power. At present, the fabrication of PbS solar cells requires a lengthy heat treatment process....

  • Showers of sparks arc out of a vat being filled with molten steel.

    Rio Tinto aims to slash steelmaking CO2

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 11, 2024

    Global mining company is investing $143 million into BioIron, a tech that uses biomass to reduce ironmaking carbon emissions by 95%. From paper clips and surgical scalpels to skyscrapers and cargo ships, steel is a durable and abundant material that forms the framework for modern living. The process of transforming raw iron ore into steel, however, is responsible for around 8% of all global carbon dioxide emissions. Toward the ultimate goal of decarbonizing steelmaking, Rio...

  • A gold-colored rectangular device engraved with the PyroDelta logo.

    RESOLVE to develop First Tellurium tech

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 20, 2024

    Solution-focused NGO agrees to help manufacture and sell tellurium-based thermoelectric generator with green potential. Amongst the rarest of stable elements on the periodic table, tellurium has quietly emerged as a secret ingredient of the clean energy future. This includes serving as a semiconductor in thermoelectric generators – solid-state devices that transform waste heat from vehicle engines and industrial processes into clean electricity. This promising green energy t... Full story

  • Concept art of promethium in a vial surrounded by an organic ligand.

    Promethium's rare earth secrets unveiled

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    Oak Ridge National Lab scientists have made new promethium discoveries that may rewrite the rare earths section of chemistry textbooks. A team of scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has begun to unlock the secrets of promethium, the one rare earth that is as scarce as the name of this group of elements suggests. The term rare earths refers to the group of 15 lanthanide elements found in their own row near the bottom of the periodic... Full story

  • Michael Vanden Berg at a coal outcrop near Star Point mine.

    Rare earths found in Utah, Colorado mines

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 4, 2024

    High concentrations of REEs occurring near coal could improve domestic supply. "The model is if you're already moving rock, could you move a little more rock for resources towards energy transition?" said co-author Lauren Birgenheier regarding a study of rare earth elements (REEs) found in conjunction with coal-producing regional mines across the Uinta coal belt of Colorado and Utah. This research seeking out alternative sources of rare earths was conducted in partnership... Full story

  • Wooden tiles of the elements on the periodic table.

    Can US lead again in critical materials

    Jack Lifton|Updated Jun 1, 2024

    It will take a village for America to lead again in critical materials. While the patriotic rallying cry is clear, the critical thinking behind our country's commitment to critical materials is muddled. The U.S. is putting money where its mouth is – funding domestic critical minerals projects as well as imports from friendly nations – with the goal of reclaiming our leadership status from China. Critical materials, the collective noun for critical minerals and metals, are ess... Full story