The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles from the August 3, 2022 edition


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  • An old road closed barricade on an overgrown roadway.

    Sen. Sullivan halts Defense nominees

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 16, 2023

    U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, is holding up the nominations of three senior Department of Defense nominees until he gets some answers on why the Biden administration pulled the permits for a road to the Ambler Mining District, a region of Alaska with deposits of copper, cobalt, zinc, and other minerals critical to the renewable energy and defense technologies. The Alaska senator made the announcement while questioning two of the nominees – Radha Plumb, nominated to b... Full story

  • Vivid green northern lights display over mining equipment operating at night.

    Major funding for Vital rare earths plan

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 12, 2022

    Vital Metals Ltd. has received an AU$45 million (US$31.6 million) infusion of cash to fund its expanding rare earths business in Canada. "Vital Metals is on the threshold of becoming North America's only company capable of producing a refined rare earth product from its own mine, completing our transition from exploration and development to production and operations," said Vital Metals Managing Director Geoff Atkins. "This is an important milestone, not only in the development...

  • The tops of several AA-sized batteries commonly used in electronic devices.

    Rechargeability looms for zinc batteries

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

    For years, researchers have sought a viable method for making the common zinc alkaline battery rechargeable. Now, a team of international researchers has developed a technique for doing just that. Prolonged research led the scientists to develop a new electrode design that is set to enable the rechargeability of alkaline zinc, one of the most common types of non-rechargeable batteries used in our daily lives. The technique also sheds light on a potentially wider application of...

  • A hand-railing made using antimicrobial copper.

    Super nano-copper coating to kill bacteria

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 9, 2022

    A team of University of British Columbia researchers has designed a new copper coating that can kill bacteria more quickly and in greater quantities than current chemistries and could soon be available for hospitals and other high-traffic facilities. The group, led by Amanda Clifford, an assistant professor in the department of materials engineering, has designed a nano-copper coating that includes bacteria-killing nanoscale features and zinc. Although current formulations...

  • A blue “Welcome to Idaho” sign along a desert highway at the Nevada border.

    Electra drills new cobalt zone in Idaho

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 4, 2022

    Toward its goal of building its inventory of the cobalt needed for the lithium-ion batteries powering electric vehicles, Electra Battery Materials Corp. has drilled a new zone of mineralization at its Iron Creek cobalt-copper project within the Idaho Cobalt Belt about 135 miles northeast of Boise. "Idaho could play an important role in the onshoring of the EV battery supply chain by providing a domestic supply of cobalt in America," said Electra Battery Materials CEO Trent Mel...

  • A pile of bituminous coal, which powered the old world before oil.

    DOE offers $6M for alt coal use research

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 2, 2022

    The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management announced $6 million in funding toward research and development projects that will repurpose domestic coal resources for products that can be employed in clean energy technologies such as batteries and advanced manufacturing. Projects selected for this funding will support FECM's Carbon Ore Processing Program, which focuses on converting coal and coal wastes into products such as graphite, carbon...

  • A Hyundai NEXO cut through the middle, showing its hydrogen fuel-powered engine.

    Iron to catalyze hydrogen fuel cell future

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 2, 2022

    Researchers from Northeastern University in Boston have identified a novel class of catalysts that, because of their particular non-noble-metal nature, could offer a lower-cost alternative to the platinum-based standard that has prevented hydrogen from advancing in the fuel sector. In the most basic terms, a fuel cell transforms hydrogen and atmospheric oxygen into electricity, water vapor, and a little heat. Using platinum as a catalyst, hydrogen is split and fed into one...

  • A Tesla 4680 lithium-ion cell for EVs against a background of colorful swirls.

    DOE loans Syrah $102M for graphite plant

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 2, 2022

    To bolster supplies of the lithium-ion battery materials needed for America's transition to electric vehicles, the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Programs Office is loaning Syrah Resources Ltd. $102.1 million to expand Vidalia, a processing facility in Louisiana that upgrades mined graphite into a material needed in the lithium-ion batteries powering electric vehicles and modern electronics. "Securing critical materials, such as lithium and graphite, is essential to...