The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles from the August 24, 2022 edition

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  • The periodic table element of mercury graphic.

    2D material to clean up mercury pollution

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

    Due to the alarming increase in mercury emissions into the atmosphere, researchers have been working for many years to develop systems to remove this heavy metal from water. Now, a team at Drexel University in Philadelphia might have found just the right material to efficiently catch the elusive quicksilver and clean up contaminated waters – MXene. It is estimated that mercury emissions in the atmosphere have quadrupled since the Industrial Revolution. The l... Full story

  • Suspended from the rail above, the Red Rail glides from the station.

    China unveils first suspended maglev train

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

    Without any outside forces, a sky train levitates 30 feet above the ground in China's Jiangxi Province, thanks to the powerful forces of rare earth permanent magnets. Unlike magnetic levitation trains that float on a cushion of magnetic resistivity below, the world-first air train effortlessly floats from a rail above. With permanent rare earth magnets on both the rail and an arm above the "Red Rail" train resisting each other, the train can levitate above the ground below,... Full story

  • A prototype of Cambridge University's artificial leaf floating on the Cam River.

    An artificial leaf to fuel world trade

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 30, 2022

    While renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar have become significantly cheaper and more available in recent years, many challenges still need to be overcome to achieve decarbonization in most industries. To help supplement energy needs, researchers from the University of Cambridge have designed an ultrathin, flexible device intended to mimic nature's best energy convertor – leaves! For several years, Professor Erwin Reisner's research group at Cambridge has been...

  • An aerial view of the University of Adelaide campus in South Australia.

    Aussie university tackles clean energy

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 30, 2022

    The University of Adelaide launches Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Resources The global transition to electric vehicles plugged into low-carbon-emissions power sources is requiring enormous quantities of lithium-ion battery materials, copper, rare earths, and a long list of other mined commodities. This creates a dual challenge for mining companies – ramping up production quickly enough to supply the materials to build the envisioned clean energy future while also m...

  • A rendering of MIT's gallium-gold bandage sensor on an arm.

    A gold-gallium bandage to monitor body

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 30, 2022

    MIT develops a wearable sensor able to target any biomarker Using a gold-gallium "band-aid" could prove the next generation of biological monitoring as researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised a new kind of wearable sensor capable of communicating wirelessly without the need for microchips or even batteries. Wearable sensors are ubiquitous due to wireless technology, which enables the monitoring of glucose concentrations, blood pressure, heart...

  • Gold bars displayed in an organized pile.

    Philosopher's graphene: waste into gold

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 30, 2022

    Researchers from the University of Manchester might have to adopt a new title: alchemists, as they may have discovered the 21st-century version of the philosopher's stone. But unlike the mystical substance of old, the modern golden transformation is thanks to a microscopically thin material that has been growing in popularity due to its miracle-like properties – graphene. "Graphene turns rubbish into gold, literally," said Andre Geim, a professor from the University of M...