The Elements of Innovation Discovered

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  • Close-up of pyrite formation, otherwise known as fool's gold.

    From fool's gold to white gold

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated May 8, 2024

    Findings reveal high concentrations of lithium in pyrite. The golden glitter of a faceted nugget of pyrite has earned it the moniker "fool's gold" for its abundance, showy false promise and low value as a common sulfide – until recently. Lithium, on the other hand, has been the modern day's elusive "white gold" prize in many searches, from hard rock mines to brines and more experimental sources such as mine tailings and drill cuttings. Recent research led by a team from W...

  • A pumpjack pumps oil from a well in an American Southwest desert.

    Critical minerals from fossil fuel waste

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 3, 2024

    DOE funds R&D for recovering critical metals while creating clean water from fossil fuel waste. The Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management is providing $17.5 million in funding for research and development projects focused on producing clean water and critical minerals from oil, gas, and coal production wastewater. Fossil fuel production and use produces wastewater, either pumped up with oil and gas or from the waste streams of production or...

  • A natural gas flame burning above an exposed vent in the outdoors.

    Natural H2 may be prolific and accessible

    K. Warner, Metal Tech News|Updated Mar 20, 2024

    Hydrogen discovered in Albanian mine provides clues on where to find massive hydrogen flows. The world's largest natural flow of highly pure hydrogen gas has been quietly seeping through a nondescript pool deep within an Albanian chromium mine. Researchers reported the study in a paper published in the journal Science, noting that the investigation of similar deposits may reveal more major findings of this clean-burning resource across the globe. Naturally occurring hydrogen a...

  • Hands holding a scoop of ashes with potential critical minerals.

    Coal ash to critical minerals funding

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 15, 2023

    DOE is awarding $32M to support projects that will recover domestic critical minerals from coal waste. Seeking to leverage the ash and other byproducts from a fuel that powered America through the 20th century, the U.S. Department of Energy is awarding $32 million to help launch projects that will recover rare earth elements and other critical minerals from coal ash and waste. Coal deposits often have trace amounts of gallium, germanium, rare earths, and other minerals...

  • A laboratory-scale device using laminar co-flow to isolate pure magnesium salt.

    Magnesium battle between EVs and cattle

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Sep 27, 2022

    Researchers from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and University of Washington have dicovered a simple way to extract what could be considered one of the most critical minerals to the United States and European Union, magnesium. Since ancient times, Mankind has extracted salts from the ocean. While table salt is the easiest to obtain, seawater is a rich source of different minerals, and scientists have long been exploring the possibility of isolating specific...

  • A creek colored bright orange from metals dissolved in the acidic water.

    DOE seeks unconventional critical minerals

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Sep 20, 2022

    The U.S. Department of Energy announced $156 million in funding for a first-of-a-kind facility to extract and separate rare earth elements and critical minerals from unconventional sources like mining waste. As rare earths and other critical minerals are key to manufacturing clean energy technologies here in America – such as solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells – industries from all ends of the supply chain have been seeking to fulfill the...