The Elements of Innovation Discovered

(65) stories found containing 'critical materials institute'


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  • Impossible Metals co-founders Jason Gillham, Renee Grogan, Oliver Gunasekara.

    Sustainable deep-sea mining needed

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 29, 2024

    Metal Tech News Q&A with Oliver Gunasekara, CEO Impossible Metals. As an entrepreneur and business development executive, Oliver Gunasekara has left his mark on the tech world over the past 30-plus years. His latest project, Impossible Metals, is poised to be a real game-changer in the quest of deep sea mining for minerals critical to clean energy – which can and should maintain equal ESG standards to land-based mining. Rather than dredging the seafloor for precious... Full story

  • Evan Willing and Tyler Dabney set up tantalum cold spray equipment.

    Wisconsin makes fusion tantalum coating

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 20, 2024

    UW researchers explore capacity of tantalum cold spray technology to protect fusion reactors, prevent hydrogen loss. On the coattails of mankind's breakthrough in fusion technology, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is preemptively preparing a technology that could further stabilize the potential energy of a man-made micro-sun with a spray coating technology that could simultaneously maintain temperature integrity while also extracting the very fuel of a star – hydrogen....

  • Two roughly AA-sized sodium-ion batteries on top of a pile of table salt.

    Sodium-ion batteries promise potential

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 20, 2024

    The world's transition away from fossil fuels to sustainable green energy sources is rapidly increasing the demand for economical storage methods that has thus far centered on lithium-ion batteries. The limited availability in the West of lithium and other critical metals, such as cobalt and rare earth elements, raises significant concern about the sustainability of the lithium-ion technology. One potential alternative may be the sodium-ion battery. According to the European...

  • Artistic concept of battery storing wind and solar-generated electricity.

    US green energy storage hits headwinds

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 10, 2024

    Supply constraints slow installations; WoodMac expects li-ion batteries to dominate energy storage in US over next five years. The transition to clean electricity generated from intermittent sources such as solar and wind is energizing the energy storage sector in the United States. Supply chain constraints, however, are acting as an insulator to growth of battery installations that ensure the balance between energy supply and demand. According to the fourth quarter 2022 U.S....

  • Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers a speech at Vitals’ REE plant.

    Top 10 Metal Tech News articles of 2023

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jan 4, 2024

    From Trudeau's visit to Vital REE plant to a Chinese firm buying Vital stock and Canada rare earths, MTN counts down the 10 most popular articles of 2023. From the energy transition driving enormous new demand for technology metals to advances in technologies that make the mining of those materials more efficient and sustainable, 2023 was a big year for tech metals and mining tech news. Here are the 10 most popular Metal Tech News articles of 2023: No. 10 - Trudeau tours Vital... Full story

  • Ship loaded with colorful shipping containers going under highway bridge.

    Friendshoring balances domestic mining

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 22, 2023

    On Dec. 12, 2015, delegates from almost every country on the planet signed a landmark climate accord, the Paris Agreement, that united more than 190 parties in support of a legally binding treaty pledging to drive the overall planetary temperature down by slashing the use of fossil fuels and adopting solutions for a massive transition to renewable energy and green transportation. This requires extensive economic and social transformation, measured in five-year cycles of...

  • Colorful balanced stones in shallow waters near a beach.

    Rare earths future hangs in the balance

    Shane Lasley, Data Mine North|Updated Nov 20, 2023

    A growing imbalance in the supply and demand for rare earths is creating a challenge for the companies that produce this suite of technology elements and an opportunity for the scientists seeking ways to leverage their unique properties in new and intriguing ways. While it is true that the global transition to zero-carbon energy and transportation is creating new rare earths demand that threatens to outstrip the global supply, the real disparity has more to do with which of... Full story

  • Computer-generated image resembling a diamond used for technology.

    Diamond-studded quantum computer chips

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Nov 6, 2023

    Trapping qubits inside diamonds, MIT researchers create memory nodes that may unlock quantum computing realm. Quantum computers have the potential to carry out calculations millions of times faster than today's most advanced supercomputers, but this game-changing computing power has yet to be realized due to the fragile nature of qubits, the quantum realm equivalent of the bits that store and transfer data in today's computers. Diamonds, however, could provide the armor that p...

  • An EV plugged into a battery charger on a sunny day.

    DOE invests $16M in solid battery tech

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Sep 22, 2023

    To accelerate the commercialization of solid-state battery tech for EVs; redox flow batteries for grid-scale renewable energy storage. To speed the commercialization of emerging battery technologies, the U.S. Department of Energy is investing $11 million into solid-state batteries that promise to extend the range and reduce the fire risk of electric vehicles, and $5 million into flow batteries that can serve as a buffer between intermittent renewable power sources and...

  • The tan-colored MOXIE cube being placed into Perseverance.

    Mars MOXIE makes oxygen out of thin air

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Sep 19, 2023

    First-ever space habitat tech, experiment gives more than researchers expected. Not too dissimilar from Man's first Moon landing with a computer that by today's standards TI-83 calculators could overpower, when the first astronauts land on Mars, they will most likely equivocate today's microwave oven-sized device for the air they breathe and the rocket propellant that gets them home as some clunky technology future generations will be amazed could accomplish what it did. But... Full story

  • A 3D rendering of a future Redwood Materials facility.

    Strong Redwood attracts $1B investment

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Sep 19, 2023

    From a small sprout to a mighty tree, Redwood Materials Inc. may share its roots with the Tree of Tesla but has grown into a pillar of stability in the realm of recycling amidst a time when electric vehicle battery materials are becoming increasingly difficult to source. This battery and e-waste startup's vision of creating a domestic supply through recycling has drawn nearly $2 billion in new investment to expand its operations in the U.S., spreading its own "Sequoian" roots...

  • Rows of solar panels at the Natural Bridges National Monument.

    Aluminum caught in green energy paradox

    A.J. Roan, Data Mine North|Updated Sep 11, 2023

    Aluminum has been classified as critical by the United States, European Union, Canada, and even China. At first glance, one may wonder how such a ubiquitous metal could possibly be critical. The answer is simply that aluminum is so widely used that supply, if endangered, could devastate an economy. In 2020, the World Bank identified aluminum as a "high-impact" and "cross-cutting" metal in all existing and potential green technologies. In spite of this, due to high energy... Full story

  • A white-gloved hand holding uranium fuel pellets.

    Semantics strays uranium energy criticality

    A.J. Roan, Data Mine North|Updated Sep 11, 2023

    Powering nearly 10% of the world's energy needs and roughly 20% of America for over 50 years, nuclear energy is a highly controversial power provider that ticks all the boxes for zero-emission electricity. Much like most contemporary fuels, running these reactors takes something dug from the earth – uranium. In 2017, the United States Geological Survey was charged with identifying which minerals and metals are critical to the U.S. Its original list of 35 critical minerals,... Full story

  • A series of square brine-filled holes in the Salinas Grandes salt flats.

    Is a lithium triangle alliance coming?

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 17, 2023

    Latin American countries collectively hold over 50% of the world's identified raw lithium. These resource-rich nations have begun asserting that they will no longer accept extractive international trade relationships-hoping to leverage this natural wealth of a suddenly in-demand mineral to bolster the region's development and encourage the growth of specialized industries and clean energy infrastructure. "We don't want to sell lithium to Europe ... we want to sell lithium vehi...

  • 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...

  • Rio Tinto’s Yarwun alumina refinery in Queensland, Australia.

    Mining heavyweights to build pilot plant

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 8, 2023

    Rio Tinto and Sumitomo Corp. have teamed up to build a demonstration plant aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the production of aluminum. The A$111.1 million (US$73.9 million) pilot project, the first of its kind deployment of hydrogen calcination in the world, will be built in Australia at the Yarwun Alumina Refinery in Gladstone, Queensland. The project, co-sponsored by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), which contributed A$32.1 million (US$21.3 mil...

  • A hand holds a lithium battery cell with an Australia flag emblem on its side.

    Australia to break China's lithium grip

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

    Leading the lithium rush, the Pilgangoora project in Western Australia's mine-friendly and resource-rich Pilbara region is sporting one of the largest hard rock lithium deposits in the world. Nearly all the lithium produced at Pilbara Minerals' gigantic Pilgangoora processing plant is sold to China for processing into lithium carbonate and hydroxide. But Pilbara Minerals, along with a few of Australia's more daring mining companies, is working to break China's grip on lithium...

  • Hot-rolled nano neo processed rare earth permanent magnets.

    Heat-resistant neo magnet breakthrough

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated Jul 3, 2023

    Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Critical Materials Institute, led by Ames National Laboratory, have developed a "Hot-roll Nano Neo Magnet" method for manufacturing high-performance neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnets that are heat-resistant, easier, and greener to produce. Neodymium is a rare earth metal that tarnishes rapidly when exposed to air. In 1983, it was discovered that when alloyed with iron and boron, it would create a magnetic force 10 times...

  • Chain with binary code representative of the digital links of blockchain tech.

    EV battery passport pilots underway

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated May 24, 2023

    With mining for critical minerals like cobalt embattled on many fronts, the preference for fair trade options, need for source transparency, and massive investments in battery recycling infrastructure are being keenly felt. To meet demand, two ReSource electric vehicle (EV) battery passport pilots were successfully issued in January by the Global Battery Alliance (GBA) and its founding consortium of China Molybdenum (CMOC) mining group, Eurasian Resources Group (ERG),...

  • A pile of metal scrap and waste for recycling.

    US recycling tech gets boost in funding

    K. Warner, For Metal Tech News|Updated May 23, 2023

    The U.S. Department of Defense has developed the Materials Recovery Technologies for Defense Supply Resiliency initiative in support of President Biden's 2021 directive to identify and address risks in the supply chain for critical minerals. The project is being run through Army Research Labs as a multi-year and multimillion-dollar international collaborative partnership between seven universities and five industry participants including Gopher Resource, the founding member...

  • Prototype oxygen-ion battery made with ceramic and lanthanum.

    Air to power future long storage batteries

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

    While lithium-ion batteries have become omnipresent for nearly all portable energy needs, we have quickly found that they are ultimately limited in what they are capable of. Enter Vienna University of Technology, where German scientists have found a way to harness the most abundant element on earth to breathe new life into the future of energy storage. Exploring new battery chemistries for the green energy transition, researchers at Vienna University of Technology, or TU Wien,...

  • 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...

  • Chess board representing trade maneuvering between U.S. and China.

    Rhetoric will not fill US mineral needs

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Mar 7, 2023

    With the world-class deposits already found within its borders, the United States has the potential to be a major global producer of copper, lithium, and the other minerals and metals critical to the clean energy transition. Realizing this potential, however, will require reserves of political will in Washington, DC, that match the nation's domestic energy metals endowment, according to R Street Institute. "Despite political rhetoric and policies promoting the use of domestic... Full story

  • Aluminum-cerium alloy being poured from a furnace into a ladle.

    Aluminum alloys offer rare earths balance

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

    The U.S. Department of Energy has published a portfolio of research and development projects on the commercialization of aluminum-cerium alloy that offers a possible solution to the overabundance of the most abundant rare earth element. The clean energy transition depends on critical materials like rare earth elements that power wind turbine generators, electric vehicles, and other clean energy technologies, materials, and processes. Typically, REEs are found together in... Full story

  • Extended hand holding a large chunk of nickel ore with a mine in the background.

    Nickel's evolving role in green power

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Feb 15, 2023

    The challenge of reducing emissions from the mining industry as a whole is ongoing and especially vital for the metals needed in renewable power and de-carbonized transportation. Taking center stage in this push, the electric vehicle space is being tasked to evaluate the overall environmental impact of EV battery life cycles. Scalable solutions are needed by 2030 for the anticipated first wave of batteries soon reaching end-of-life to keep them out of the toxic waste stream....

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