The Elements of Innovation Discovered

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  • Thermoelectric generator TEG University of Colorado Boulder wearables

    New device turns the body into a battery

    Rose Ragsdale, For Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 16, 2023

    While thermoelectric generators are proving useful in a growing number of modern applications, ranging from electric vehicles to spacecraft, a new potential use for the technology has emerged that could give a whole new meaning to the phrase, "personal electronic device." Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have developed a new, low-cost wearable device that uses tiny thermoelectric generators with liquid metal wiring to transform the human body into a...

  • Tokamak fusion reactor General Atomics graphite deuterium tritium

    The dream of fusion made real with boron

    A.J. Roan, For Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 12, 2022

    Hydrogen, boron and lasers could be the secret ingredients to the Holy Grail of energy – fusion. A team of scientists in Australia have developed a method of creating fusion energy like that of the sun that utilizes a unique process first pioneered by Professor Heinrich Hora in the 1970s. The company, aptly named HB11, uses an approach to fusion that does away with rare, radioactive and difficult fuels-as well as the incredibly high temperatures necessary for conventional f...

  • metal air scavenging robot eats aluminum oxide to produce electricity

    Researchers develop metal eating robots

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

    Mankind's use of minerals has evolved over the eons hand-in-hand with innovation. From the first crude fire starters and simple machines to the evolving wonders of the Information Age, human beings have looked to rocks and the minerals within them for the building blocks of technological advancement. Now comes an innovation that could change everything, especially for electronics that require their own power sources. University of Pennsylvania researchers have developed a...

  • Uranium thorium nuclear reactor low carbon energy fuels

    The nuclear option for carbon-free energy

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

    As the cultural and economic shift towards renewable energy continues to develop, the pursuit for new renewable technologies is emerging as well. Some believe these pursuits should include revisiting a bygone, yet controversial, energy source to combat the encroaching climate issue. Nuclear energy, a hot button issue due to our sordid history with the technology, but a discussion regarding the viability of nuclear energy may soon be approaching. For almost a hundred years the...

  • England geologist makes case for localized mines for environment green energy

    Lithium geologist makes case for mining

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

    "I care deeply about the environment, which is why I work in the mining industry," is how Lucy Crane, opened a TEDx talk on mining's role in battling climate change. A geologist who completed her undergraduate in earth sciences at Oxford and earned her Master's in Mining Geology at the Camborne School of Mines, Crane is all too familiar with the stigma mining has and the disconnect between clean energy and the mined materials that make that energy possible. And she is tired of...

  • CdTe cadmium thin film photovoltaic PV solar panels critical byproduct metals

    Mining refinery waste for solar energy

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Jun 27, 2020

    Solar accounted for nearly 40% of the new electricity generating capacity added in the United States during 2019. With sun-fueled electricity expected to continue growing with more residents installing panels on their roofs and utilities commissioning large solar electricity generating facilities, a group of metals that typically lurk in the shadows are now seeing the light of day. Many of the metals needed to build out America's solar generating capacity are fairly common...