The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles from the July 26, 2023 edition

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  • Mary Freeman holding a green tourmaline crystal in an underground cavern.

    Maine couple discovers lithium motherlode

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Nov 25, 2023

    Five years ago, Maine native Mary Freeman and her husband Gary went gem-hunting for tourmaline on their property in the woods of Plumbago Mountain. Instead of the popular semiprecious stone they were seeking, they discovered what appears to be the richest known hard rock lithium deposit in the world – a formation of gigantic lithium-bearing spodumene crystals with an estimated value of $1.5 billion. The timing of their discovery, officially called Plumbago North, is fortuitous... Full story

  • A giant vat of molten steel slag pouring into a pit.

    Baffinland iron for German green steel

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 8, 2023

    One of the northernmost mines in the world, Baffinland's Mary River operation on Baffin Island in Nunavut, Canada, has among the richest iron ore deposits ever discovered, and a recent cooperation with German steelmaker thyssenkrupp hopes to turn that iron into low-carbon green steel. Announced July 25, Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. and thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG have entered into a memorandum of understanding to accelerate the development of high-quality feedstock for green... Full story

  • 2023 Jeep Wrangler 4xe plugged into a solar charger in a rural setting.

    Stellantis to expand US battery factories

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 8, 2023

    Second US battery gigafactory to be built under a JV with Samsung SDI powers Stellantis' electric ambitions in North America. Adding to the skyrocketing demand for lithium battery materials, global automaker Stellantis and battery manufacturer Samsung SDI have agreed to build a second gigafactory in the United States. The newest facility to be constructed under the StarPlus Energy joint venture forged between the two companies last May is slated to have the capacity to...

  • Clean energy art showing wind turbines and solar panels inside a battery.

    Xcel Energy to test Liquid Metal battery

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 8, 2023

    Forward-thinking utility works with Ambri on demo-scale deployment of molten metal battery for clean energy storage. With the electric vehicle revolution demanding lithium-ion battery materials faster than mining companies can supply them, alternative systems for stationary renewable energy storage are needed. One such solution is the Ambri Liquid Metal battery that is being tested on a commercial scale by Xcel Energy, a forward-leaning utility company that delivers energy to...

  • A field of boulders deposited by an ancient river on Mars.

    Perseverance prospects Martian river

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 31, 2023

    Martian geologist takes a page from Earth prospectors; collects sample of a conglomerate of rocks that washed down a Mars river. When a geologist must ship rock samples 217 million miles for analysis, only the best specimens will do. This is why Perseverance, and the team of earthbound scientists supporting the Mars rover, were thrilled with the latest sample collected by the six-wheeled robo-geologist. On Sol 832 – the 832nd Martian day of the Perseverance mission, or June 23...

  • Xuilin Ruan (left) and Joseph Peoples (right) measure their whitest paint.

    Cool upgrade to Purdue's whitest paint

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 25, 2023

    In an effort to curb global warming, Purdue University researchers developed a cool solution – paint. But not just any paint, with what they believe to be the closest opposite of the blackest black, this ultra-white paint can not only repel heat but cool down the interior of the surface it is painted on. In September 2021, the Purdue team created an ultra-white paint that earned the Guinness World Record for an unintended side effect to reducing global warming, creating the w...

  • An exposed electric vehicle battery pack frame for a future EV.

    Electra almost triples LG cobalt deal

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 25, 2023

    As the only future cobalt sulfate supplier in North America, Electra Battery Materials Corp. has cut a deal to supply LG Energy Solution Ltd. with substantially more battery-grade cobalt than originally anticipated. Piggybacking off an agreement inked in late 2022, Electra will now supply LG Energy Solution with 3,000 metric tons of cobalt contained in a cobalt sulfate product in 2025 and an additional 4,000 metric tons in each of the following years through 2029 for a total...

  • Close-up of a red 2023 Prius XLE hybrid car on a country highway.

    Has Toyota solved solid-state batteries?

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 25, 2023

    Toyota's track record of conservative interest in an otherwise fervent competition over electric vehicle battery engineering has just turned 180 degrees with the company's shocking revelation of a solid-state battery that charges in ten minutes with a range of 745 miles. Opting to keep a tight lid on this new development until now, Toyota has produced a breakthrough as unexpected as it is contrary to the public relations leanings of most tech and automotive companies who...