6K, a leading developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials, has entered the energy storage market with a new division called 6K ENERGY dedicated to energy storage materials. The move follows three years of internal development supported by commercial customers and the US Department of Energy... Read more →


An international team of researchers led by Hao Chen of Tsinghua University has developed a unique chemical boundary engineering (CBE) approach significantly to improve steel’s physical properties. In an open-access paper in Science Advances, the team reports that when applied to plain steels with carbon content of only up to... Read more →


When searching through theoretical lists of possible new materials for particular applications, such as batteries or other energy-related devices, there are often millions of potential materials that could be considered, and multiple criteria that need to be met and optimized at once. Now, researchers at MIT have found a way... Read more →


Showa Denko Packaging Co., Ltd. (SPA), a consolidated subsidiary of Showa Denko K.K. (SDK), has developed a new product to be added to the lineup of SPALF aluminum laminate film used as packaging material for pouch-type lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), and will mass-produce the new product. This new product is specialized... Read more →


Fortum, BASF, and Nornickel have signed a letter of intent to plan a Li-ion battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta, Finland, serving the electric vehicle market. This would enable a successful “closed loop” cycle to re-use the critical metals present in used batteries. In March 2019, Fortum announced that it had... Read more →


UChicago scientists predict new state of matter; efficient movement of electricity and energy

Three scientists from the University of Chicago predict that there may be a way to make a material that could conduct both electricity and energy with 100% efficiency—never losing any to heat or friction. Their work, published in Physical Review B, suggests a framework for an entirely new type of... Read more →


In 2019, the market share of lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) cathode chemistry fell to 6% in global passenger EV batteries by watt-hours deployed (i.e. installed in newly-sold EVs), down from 13% the year prior, according to data from Adamas Intelligence’s EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker. This drop in LFP usage... Read more →


An innovative new material from Tenneco Inc.’s Powertrain business group delivers wear-resistant performance with greatly reduced cobalt content, helping engine manufacturers mitigate the limited availability and price volatility of cobalt. Micro structure (x500) of Tenneco’s newly developed sintered steel material FM-t88A with 17% cobalt content. © 2020 Tenneco Inc. Demanding... Read more →


Nouryon introduces CMC polymers to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries

Nouryon has begun the first deliveries of AkuPure, a carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) polymer targeted specifically at lithium-ion batteries, a market that is growing quickly due to increased demand for electric vehicles. CMC is a sustainable, bio-based water-soluble polymer used as a thickener, binder, stabilizer and film former. AkuPure CMCs are... Read more →


In 2019, more than 14,400 tonnes of cobalt were deployed globally in batteries of newly sold passenger battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), an increase of 34% over the year prior, according to data from Adamas Intelligence’s EV Battery Capacity and Battery... Read more →


Mining giant Rio Tinto will invest around $1 billion over the next five years to support the delivery of its new climate change targets and a company objective for net zero emissions from operations by 2050. The new targets for 2030 are: A further 30% reduction in Rio Tinto’s emissions... Read more →


Researchers at the US Geological Survey (USGS) and its partners have developed a new methodology to identify which mineral commodities important to US manufacturing are at greatest risk to supply disruption. The risk tool identified 23 mineral commodities posing the greatest risk. The methodology evaluated the global supply of and... Read more →


Eurasian Resources Group plans NCM material plant for EV batteries

Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), a leading diversified natural resources group, is assessing the construction of a battery material plant to produce nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM) precursor materials for batteries for electric vehicles (EVs). The Group is evaluating technical solutions offered by engineering firms BGRIMM Technology Group from China and Outotec from Finland,... Read more →


A study by a team from MIT, with colleagues from Alfred University, UC Berkeley, and RIT, has found that supplies of cobalt—a critical material in some battery chemistries—is adequate in the short-term (up to 2030), but that the industry needs to invest in additional efficient refining and recycling capacity, so... Read more →


At every stage of the battery development process, new technologies must be tested for months or even years to determine how long they will last. Now, a team led by Stanford professors Stefano Ermon and William Chueh has developed a machine learning-based method that slashes these testing times by 98%.... Read more →


Niobium is a metal primarily used by the steel industry as a ferroalloy strengthening element. High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) steel accounts for about 90% of niobium usage with an average content of about 0.03% Nb. Adding niobium reduces the amount and weight of steel required, an important feature for... Read more →


Rio Tinto approved a $98-million investment in a new solar plant at the new Koodaideri mine in the Pilbara, Australia, as well as a lithium-ion battery energy storage system to help power its entire Pilbara power network. The $2.6-billion Koodaideri mine was approved in November last year with construction commencing... Read more →


Adamas: Nickel deployment in passenger EV batteries increased 39% in 2019

In 2019, global deployment of nickel in passenger EV batteries amounted to 59,271 tonnes, an increase of 39% over the amount deployed in 2018, according to Adamas Intelligence’s web-based EV Battery Capacity and Battery Metals Tracker. By EV type, battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were responsible for 76% of all passenger... Read more →


Rare earth elements (REEs) are vital materials for modern technologies. The US National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is collaborating with the University of Kentucky and their subcontractor Virginia Tech to demonstrate a novel process for the extraction of REEs from coal using plasma. REEs, which represent the 15 elements of... Read more →


BMW’s press shop in Dingolfing—the largest of the BMW Group worldwide—is the first in which all aluminum sheet waste is separated and recycled to make it reusable for industry. The BMW Group has invested around €6.5 million euros in the technical retrofitting of the Dingolfing press shop for the implementation.... Read more →


BASF will build a new battery materials production site in Schwarzheide, Germany, as part of its multi-step investment plan to support the European electric vehicle (EV) value chain. BASF’s production site Schwarzheide is located in the Lausitz region of southern Brandenburg, Germany, and is one of the company’s largest production... Read more →


Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, with colleagues from Duke University, report that longer commutes are associated with increased human exposure to TDCIPP (tris(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate)—a chemical flame retardant that is a known carcinogen and that was phased out of furniture use because it required a Proposition 65 warning label... Read more →


ASI certifies one Novelis facility against Performance Standard, two against Chain of Custody Standard

The Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI) announced that Novelis’ plant in Ohle, Germany has been successfully certified against the ASI Performance Standard for responsible production, sourcing and stewardship of aluminum. The Ohle plant supplies foil and packaging products to such diverse applications as coffee capsules, foil trays for the food industry,... Read more →


JenaBatteries GmbH and BASF are cooperating in the production of an electrolyte for a battery technology that is particularly suitable for stationary storage of electricity from renewable energy sources and for stabilizing conventional transmission grids. JenaBatteries, which has developed this technology based on a redox flow battery (RFB) with organic... Read more →


Researchers at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, led by Miguel Modestino, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a novel ion-conducting polymer (ionomer) that increases the power and lowers the cost of fuel cells. The material delivers copious amounts of oxygen from the... Read more →


Empire State Development (ESD) announced that Canada-based Li-Cycle Corporation will establish its first US-based Li-ion battery recycling facility in New York State. Li-Cycle Technology uses a combination of mechanical size reduction and hydrometallurgical resource recovery specifically designed for lithium-ion battery recycling. The technology can do so with a recovery rate... Read more →


Together with start-up Circulor, Mercedes-Benz is conducting a pilot project for transparency on CO2 emissions in the cobalt supply chain as part of STARTUP AUTOBAHN. The project partners use blockchain technology to track the emissions of climate-relevant gases as well as the amount of secondary material along the complex supply... Read more →


Nickel is a widely used metal in the manufacturing industry for both industrial and advanced material processes. Now, Purdue University innovators have created a hybrid technique to fabricate a nanotwinned form of nickel that may help the future production of lifesaving medical devices, high-tech devices and vehicles with strong corrosion-resistant... Read more →


Teijin Limited will establish Teijin Automotive Center Europe GmbH (TACE) in Wuppertal, Germany in February as a new base for technical functions within the company’s automotive composite business. The company will handle concept, designing, prototyping, evaluations, marketing and technical research for next-generation automotive components, utilizing the Teijin Group’s capabilities to... Read more →


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 →