Critical Minerals Alliances 2022

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DOE organization ReCell Center displays all battery materials.

Urban mining to provide for critical deficit

Critical minerals can be recycled from decades of e-waste The necessity of reclaiming waste as a means to curb the seemingly impossible material requirements of a renewable future is fostering a d... — Updated 10/4/2022 Full story

 
Rendering showing light signals emitting from fiber optic cables.

Out of this world germanium properties

Tech metalloid boasts superior semiconductor, optical qualities From NASA's Gateway space station that will serve as a critical outpost circling the Moon to more down-to-Earth applications such... — Updated 9/27/2022 Full story

 
Tin solder is being used to repair a computer microcircuit.

Overlooked tin connects the Digital Age

From flashlights to supercomputers, tin is the glue for an electronic age Lost in the clamor for lithium, nickel and other metals needed for the batteries powering electric vehicles and modern... — Updated 9/27/2022 Full story

 
Gallium in its crystal form at below 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gallium may be more critical than realized

CO2 scrubbing liquid-metal catalyst is tech metal's latest amazing property From making smartphones smarter to transforming troublesome carbon dioxide into useful oxygen and high-value carbon... — Updated 9/27/2022 Full story

 
Closeup of several green rough uncut emerald crystals.

The kryptonite of America's economy

Lack of domestic critical mineral supplies weakens US clean energy ambitions The White House and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are becoming increasingly aware that a lack of secure supplies of... — Updated 9/20/2022 Full story

 
Cobalt is a transition metal between iron and nickel on the periodic table.

Critical cobalt overshadowed by lithium

Replacing this oft-maligned lithium-ion battery metal comes at a cost Traditionally a headline-grabbing metal due to the perceived human rights and monetary costs it adds to lithium-ion batteries... — Updated 9/20/2022 Full story

 
Vials showing the colors of vanadium in four states of oxidation.

Vanadium strengths go beyond alloys

Flow batteries a major potential future use of alloying metal Vanadium, a metal best known for its role in making extremely tough steel used in tools and auto parts, is emerging as a metal that... — Updated 9/20/2022 Full story

 
The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is Alaska began the widespread use of niobium.

Niobium gets a promotion into high-tech

Superconductors, super magnets, and superalloys, this metal is super The stories behind the discovery of many elements in the periodic table make for a fascinating read, but perhaps top among... — Updated 9/20/2022 Full story

 
Large wind turbines silhouetted by the Milky Way and a cityscape.

Zinc galvanizes US critical minerals list

A blue-collar metal that is vital to weatherizing envisioned green energy future Critical minerals are typically thought of as obscure rare earth elements cloaked in geopolitical intrigue, or... — Updated 9/20/2022 Full story

 
Bottle of nickel sulfate from BHP’s Kwinana refinery in Western Australia.

More low-carbon nickel the plea for 2022

Tesla and other automakers clamor for nickel suppliers with low CO2 footprint Tesla CEO Elon Musk's 2020 appeal to "please mine more nickel" served as a rallying cry for mining companies with... — Updated 9/16/2022 Full story

 

Automakers move into lithium mining space

General Motors, Stellantis, and Tesla moving further up battery supply chain With the batteries powering the electric vehicle revolution demanding more lithium than miners can produce, the price o... — Updated 9/13/2022 Full story

 
An EV drives past wind turbines on a rural road to the mountains.

Canada to feed a minerals hungry world

Develops strategy to be the world's critical minerals supplier of choice Understanding that the renewable energy and electric vehicle revolution offers a "generational opportunity for Canada and... — Updated 9/13/2022 Full story

 
Cubes depicting the 15 rare earth elements as they appear on the periodic table.

Rare earths 101 – a crisis of identity

Rare earth elements suffer from a crisis of identity. Often referred to and treated as one commodity, REEs are actually a group of 15 elements – each with its own individual and seemingly... — Updated 9/13/2022 Full story

 

More manganese equals more EV batteries

Manganese-rich battery cathode recipes could stretch the other ingredients While not as talked about as other battery ingredients such as cobalt, lithium, and nickel, manganese is an important... — Updated 9/13/2022 Full story

 

Unlikely Critical Minerals Alliances 2022

Coming together to build North America's clean energy and e-mobility future The shift away from the fossil fuels that powered the Industrial Revolution and transported humankind through the 20th... — Updated 9/13/2022 Full story

 
Infotainment and navigation system interface in a Tesla Model X EV.

Minerals critical to the EV Revolution

Electric Vehicles require six times the minerals than their fossil fuel forebearers With even the most basic models boasting sophisticated driver-assist, navigation, infotainment, diagnostics, and... — Updated 9/13/2022 Full story

 
Wooden tiles with each of the elements on the periodic table.

Critical minerals are not set in stone

Supply, demand, and risks to the US supply chain define criticality Metaphorically speaking, critical minerals are not set in stone. Instead, the criticality of these basic building blocks of... — Updated 9/12/2022 Full story

 
Piles of rare earth oxides used for magnets, batteries, and high-tech products.

Making rare earths separation less rare

US invests heavily into developing domestic rare earth element processing plants Despite what their name suggests, rare earths are not all that scarce. An efficient and environmentally sound... — Updated 9/12/2022 Full story

 
A red Tesla Roadster speeds past a large wind turbine farm.

Seven world transforming rare earths

Magnet rare earths transform motion to energy; and energy to motion and music While all 15 of the rare earths have special properties that have been called magical, alchemistical, and futuristic,... — Updated 9/12/2022 Full story

 
Massive graphite in core from drilling at the Graphite Creek deposit in Alaska.

More graphite needed for EVs – a lot more

By 2030, batteries will likely need more than 5x all the graphite mined in 2021 While shortages of the lithium and nickel needed for electric vehicle batteries has dominated news headlines over... — Updated 9/12/2022 Full story

 
Rows of aluminum ingots from Rio Tinto's Aluminium Smelter in New Zealand.

Underdog aluminum is critical metal too

Shining a light on a metal used in nearly all today's economic sectors Used in everything from beer cans to spacecraft, aluminum is a metal most people interact with nearly every day. What many... — Updated 9/12/2022 Full story

 
A satellite view of a coal ash landfill in Pennsylvania.

Outside-the-box critical mineral sources

Coal ash, acid drainage, and tailings for future green economy As the world continues to prime itself for the global energy shift, academia, governments and the private sector are scrambling to ex... — Updated 9/12/2022 Full story

 
Aerial view of the large Elm Branch solar energy farm in Texas.

First Solar powers new tellurium demand

Rare metalloid  key element of CdTe thin-film solar cell tech The rising popularity of thin-film solar cells as a highly effective means of converting sunlight into electricity is creating... — Updated 9/12/2022 Full story

 
U.S. military uses antimony in a wide array of equipment to protect the country.

Antimony at top of strategic concerns

Russia and China's control of global supplies worry DC lawmakers From its uses in flame retardants that have saved countless American lives to being an important ingredient in batteries poised to... — Updated 9/12/2022 Full story

 
Rocket engine nozzles use tungsten for its durability, high melting point.

Strongest metal shows US supply weakness

Tungsten could be held ransom unless domestic mines open Tungsten, or wolfram, is the 74th element on the periodic table of elements and, like many other metals that have found their way onto... — Updated 9/12/2022 Full story

 

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