Domestic production of lithium, the lightest of elemental metals, is considered a priority for the US. It is essential for the manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries commonly used for everything from electric vehicles to cell phones and laptops. However, lithium is sourced almost exclusively from other countries, either concentrated using a... Read more →


Daimler announced a trial and development partnership with Israeli cleantech company UBQ Materials to explore the use of UBQ’s climate-positive material in the production of automobile parts. Daimler is also promoting the use of UBQ across its logistics manufacturers to offset carbon footprint throughout the Daimler supply chain. Daimler is... Read more →


Following the production of first prototypes of battery enclosures for a Chinese automotive manufacturer in 2018, SGL Carbon has now received a substantial contract from a North American automaker for high-volume serial production of carbon and glass fiber-based composite top and bottom layers for battery enclosures. The serial production of... Read more →


Using machine learning and simulations, scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have confirmed a relationship between two mechanisms used to explain the ductility properties of magnesium alloys, according to an open-access study published in Materials & Design. The correlation between the two ductility descriptors... Read more →


Rio Tinto has awarded Perth-based company Mondium a contract valued at approximately US$276 million (A$400 million) for the design and construction of the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 (WTS2) mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The WTS2 is part of Rio Tinto’s Greater Tom Price operations in the... Read more →


In August 2019, CRU reported on the steady slide in prices that has occurred in the lithium market since the beginning of the year. Since then, prices have continued to fall, CRU notes. Lithium carbonate prices in China dropped between January and August 2019 by nearly 20% since the beginning... Read more →


In a first, University of Sydney researchers have found evidence of how hydrogen causes embrittlement of steels. When hydrogen moves into steel, it makes the metal become brittle, leading to catastrophic failures. This has been one of the major challenges in moving towards a greener, hydrogen-fueled future, where steel tanks... Read more →


BMW Group first automaker to join Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance

BMW Group has become the first member of the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA) in the automotive sector. IRMA is a precedent-setting global certification program for industrial-scale mine sites. With growing awareness and demand for ecologically and socially-responsible products, jewelers, electronics businesses, auto makers and others have sought assurances... Read more →


A study by an international team of researchers warns that the global transition to global low-carbon energy technology could be at risk unless new international agreements and governance mechanisms are put in place to ensure a sustainable supply of rare minerals and metals. Their paper is published in Science. Climate... Read more →


Copper use in automotive wire harness will continue to grow according to new research commissioned by the International Copper Association (ICA). The research, conducted by Martec Group, found that the average weight of copper use per vehicle in automotive wire harnesses globally increased from 11.0 kg in 2016 to 12.6... Read more →


LeMond Carbon announced the results of an independent technical audit conducted by Bureau Veritas (BV) of its carbon fiber manufacturing process. The audit was conducted on a pilot line at Deakin University’s Carbon Nexus facility in Geelong, Australia. The total oxidation time and material properties verified by BV support LeMond’s... Read more →


Toyota launches new intellectual property licensing program

Toyota has launched a new program to license its Intellectual Property to interested parties. Toyota IP Solutions is intended to help promote and serve as an access point for the licensing of patents to US and global companies. Initially, the patent portfolios available for licensing will be in four areas:... Read more →


The light metal foundry of the BMW Group plant in Landshut has been certified for its sustainable use of aluminum. It meets the standards of the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI), an international organization that is supported by environmental and industrial associations, aluminum producers and manufacturing companies. ASI has defined sustainability... Read more →


Audi and Umicore start closed loop for cobalt and nickel; more than 90% of Co and Ni in e-tron batteries can be recovered

Audi and Umicore have successfully completed the test phase of their strategic research cooperation. (Earlier post.) The result is that more than 90 of the cobalt and nickel in the high-voltage batteries of the Audi e-tron can be recovered. The car manufacturer and the materials technology and recycling expert are... Read more →


UC San Diego launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

The University of California San Siego (UCSD) has formed the San Diego Institute for Materials Discovery and Design, a joint initiative of the Jacobs School of Engineering and Division of Physical Sciences at UCSD. Shirley Meng, Zable Professor of NanoEngineering, will serve as director of the Institute; Michael Sailor, Distinguished... Read more →


Northvolt launches recycling program targeting 50% recycled material in new Li-ion cells; “Revolt”

European Li-ion battery maker Northvolt has launched Revolt—a program devoted to recycling of lithium-ion batteries. As a first move towards securing a European ecosystem for lithium-ion battery recycling, Northvolt will establish a pilot recycling plant in Västerås, Sweden, adjacent to Northvolt Labs manufacturing plant. The pilot plant is anticipated to... Read more →


ArcelorMittal Europe announced a roadmap to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030. The target for ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products is in line with an ambition announced in May to be carbon neutral in Europe by 2050. The roadmap to achieve the 30% target is based on three distinct... Read more →


BMW Group signs €540M supply contract with Ganfeng for lithium from mines in Australia

As part of its electromobility expansion, the BMW Group is deepening its existing business relationship with Ganfeng Lithium based in Jiangxi (China). The two companies have signed a 5-year (2020 - 2024) supply contract for the lithium needed as a key raw material for battery cells. Ganfeng is the world’s... Read more →


UK-based Nexeon, a company engineering silicon materials for next generation lithium-ion batteries, has acquired three important sets of patents relating to the use of silicon in lithium ion battery anodes. The granted patents have global coverage and were previously owned by Litarion GmbH, and were acquired following that company’s insolvency.... Read more →


Adamas: despite global drop in EV sales, battery materials remain strong

Following a reduction of buyer incentives in China earlier this year, the resultant drop in global monthly EV sales continued through October 2019, which saw a 19% reduction in passenger EV sales versus the same month the year prior, according to Adamas Intelligence. The global sales-weighted average passenger EV’s battery... Read more →


SK Innovation signs 6-year agreement with Glencore for up to 30K tonnes cobalt; batteries for 3M EVs

SK Innovation has signed a six-year agreement with Glencore for up to around 30,000 tonnes of cobalt contained in hydroxide between 2020 and 2025. Glencore projects approximately 30,000 tonnes of cobalt production per year through 2022 with its Katanga mine in Africa (DRC). SK Innovation said that by signing the... Read more →


UK-based Drive System Design (DSD) is the lead partner in a new project that seeks to improve the efficiency of the integrated electric drive unit (EDU) of electric vehicles (EVs). The 12-month project, part-funded by Innovate UK and with the National Composites Center (NCC) as partner, will investigate the use... Read more →


Rio Tinto has approved a $1.5-billion investment (100% basis) to continue production at its Kennecott copper operation in the United States. The investment over the next six years will extend operations at Kennecott to 2032. Rio Tinto Kennecott represents nearly 8% of US annual copper production. Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine... Read more →


ArcelorMittal invests in new sustainability program across Europe; ResponsibleSteel site certification

ArcelorMittal plans to roll out a new sustainability program across Europe, aiming to secure ResponsibleSteel site certification for all its ArcelorMittal Europe - Flat Products sites. The 12-month program will enable each site to prove that the company’s production processes meet rigorously defined standards across a broad range of social,... Read more →


Rio Tinto approves $749M investment in Pilbara iron ore mine; lower GHG, autonomous haulage

Rio Tinto has approved a $749-million (A$1-billion) investment in its existing Greater Tom Price operations (100% owned) to help sustain the production capacity of its world-class iron ore business in the Pilbara of Western Australia. The investment in the Western Turner Syncline Phase 2 (WTS2) mine will facilitate mining of... Read more →


Group14 Technologies announced $18 million in new financing from Amperex Technologies Limited (ATL), Showa Denko (SDK), Cabot Corporation, BASF Venture Capital, and OVP Venture Partners. The new funds will be used to scale-up manufacturing of a next-generation silicon-carbon composite anode material and advance into commercial production. Group14 Technologies—a 2016 spin-off... Read more →


BASF launches $10B Verbund project in China

BASF officially launched its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, and commenced building its first plants. It marks a milestone of the company’s US$10-billion investment project announced in July 2018. (Earlier post.) The first plants will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve the increasing needs... Read more →


BASF launches $10B Verbund project in China

BASF officially launched its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, and commenced building its first plants. It marks a milestone of the company’s US$10-billion investment project announced in July 2018. (Earlier post.) The first plants will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to serve the increasing needs... Read more →


In May 2018, Bridgestone Corporation announced the development of the world’s first polymer to bond rubber and resins at the molecular level. The new polymer features unprecedented durability with crack resistance that is more than five times higher, abrasion resistance that is more than 2.5 times higher, and tensile strength... Read more →


Researchers at Fraunhofer IFAM have developed a casting technique that can be used to produce lightweight aluminum windings with a higher groove fill factor to replace copper windings in electric motors. In one study, they found that the aluminum coils increase the continuous output of the electrical machines compared to... Read more →


Adamas: NCM 811 is now the second-most used cathode chemistry in China’s passenger EV market

Up from just 1% in January 2019, NCM 811 is now the second-most used cathode chemistry in China’s passenger EV market, according to Adamas Intelligence’s latest “EV Battery Capacity Monthly” report. In September 2019, sales of new passenger EVs with NCM 811 battery cells were responsible for 18% of all... Read more →


Hankook Tire using AI for development of optimal tire compounds

Global tire maker announced that the company showed tangible results in its efforts for technology based innovation and digital transformation by developing the Virtual Compound Design (VCD) system, a predictive model for tire compound properties using artificial intelligence. The VCD system predicts the characteristics of compounds and draws the most... Read more →


DOE awards $3.6M to High Performance Computing projects in manufacturing, materials and mobility

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $3.6 million to 12 projects under its High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative. Selected projects will receive access to the National Laboratories’ high-performance computing (HPC) facilities and expertise to help address key challenges in US manufacturing, material, and mobility development.... Read more →


Adamas: EV sales to hit 12.5M in 2025; 350% increase in demand for rare earths used in traction motors

A new report from Adamas Intelligence, “Electric Growth: EVs, Motors and Motor Materials”, forecasts that global annual EV sales (excluding mild and micro hybrids) will increase from 4.3 million units last year to 12.5 million in 2025 and 32.0 million in 2030. With upwards of 80% of all EVs projected... Read more →


MIT and Lamborghini file patent on new MOF material for supercapacitors

A collaboration between Automobili Lamborghini and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a new MOF-based material that will serve as the foundation for a new generation of supercapacitors. The developers have filed for a patent; Automobili Lamborghini is a co-author. Further research will explore additional optimization of the properties... Read more →


Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network moves towards operationalization; Volvo Cars joins; launched by IBM, Ford, Volkswagen Group

The Responsible Sourcing Blockchain Network (RSBN), a blockchain network committed to strengthening human rights and environmental protection in mineral supply chains (earlier post), announced that its digital supply chain for cobalt has moved beyond pilot phase and is progressing toward use in live production computing environments from spring 2020. Built... Read more →


DOE announces up to $4M for High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $4 million for new projects to support manufacturers in improving energy efficiency, increasing productivity, and accelerating manufacturing innovation. The High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative, managed by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), is seeking qualified... Read more →


Nouryon and Forge Nano to collaborate on ultra-thin coatings technology; ALD for batteries and catalysts

Nouryon and US-based startup Forge Nano have agreed to explore a joint collaboration in ultra-thin coatings for high-growth applications including batteries and catalysts. The technology—atomic layer deposition (ALD)—also has the potential to open up entirely new applications. The companies have complementary activities in ultra-thin coatings – Forge Nano develops precision... Read more →


ArcelorMittal entered into a licensing agreement of its Usibor part processing technology patent with AK Steel. This licensing agreement is a part of the settlement of a patent infringement case that has been pending in the Federal District Court for the District of Delaware between the two companies. The result... Read more →


Rio Tinto started the commissioning of industry-leading filter press technology at its Vaudreuil alumina refinery in Québec, Canada, six weeks ahead of plan and under its CAD $250-million budget. The new filter presses will deliver environmental benefits by moving the refinery to dry stacking of bauxite residue and extend the... Read more →


ArcelorMittal is adding to its family of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) for the auto industry with the development of Fortiform 980 Extragal (-GI) in North America. With the second generation of steels, body engineers had some limitations in using the higher strength grades for parts that play a role... Read more →


UQ study highlights ESG challenges for critical metals supplies

In a new study published in ACS’ Environmental Science & Technology, University of Queensland researchers have highlighted the effects environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks will have on the global supply of metals without major innovations in the mining industry. Research on metal criticality has predominately assessed the supply risk... Read more →


ORNL, University of Toledo to collaborate on advanced materials, manufacturing research for vehicle applications

The US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and The University of Toledo have entered into a memorandum of understanding for collaborative research into the advanced design and manufacturing of high-strength, intelligent, lightweight materials for use by the automotive sector. The partnership brings together the manufacturing, carbon fiber and... Read more →


Rio Tinto, China Baowu, Tsinghua U sign MOU to explore improving environmental performance across steel value chain

Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China Baowu Steel Group (China’s largest steel producer) and Tsinghua University to develop and implement new methods to reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental performance across the steel value chain. The China Iron... Read more →


Items such as drinking mugs, missile heads, thermal barrier coatings on engine blades, auto parts, electronic and optic components are commonly made with ceramics. The ceramics are mechanically strong, but tend to fracture suddenly when just slightly strained under a load unless exposed to high temperatures. Now, a team led... Read more →


LG Chem partners with Umicore for the supply of NMC cathode materials

Umicore and LG Chem have concluded a multi-year strategic supply agreement for NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) cathode materials to serve LG Chem’s needs out of Umicore plants in Poland, Korea and China. The supply agreement takes effect in 2020 and covers a total volume of 125,000 metric tonnes to be... Read more →


DOE awards $56.5M to 32 coal technology projects

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $56.5 million in federal funding to 32 cost-shared research and development (R&D) projects for advanced coal technologies and research under six separate funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). The projects cover a range of topics, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage; rare earth element... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Michigan have mapped the annual flow of steel in the US, with the goal of achieving a detailed understanding of the flow to target increased material efficiency and the development of the circular economy. The results of the material flow analysis (MFA), published in the... Read more →


Ascend Performance Materials will launch several new long-chain polyamides and high-temperature polyamides at K 2019 in Düsseldorf in October. Vydyne XHT, a new portfolio of heat-stabilized polyamide 66 and copolymers, is capable of withstanding prolonged exposure to temperatures up to 230 ˚C. Using a combination of unique polymer chemistries and... Read more →


Some key materials used for manufacturing lithium-ion batteries are lithium, cobalt, nickel, manganese, and natural graphite, which come from more than 30 different countries. In 2017, Australia, Chile, and Argentina produced 91% of all lithium while the rest of the world supplied the remaining 9%. The Democratic Republic of Congo... Read more →