BMW Group sources sustainable cobalt worth around €100M from Morocco for fifth-gen batteries

Recently the BMW Group signed a cobalt supply contract with Moroccan mining company Managem Group; the contract has a volume of around €100 million, said Andreas Wendt, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Purchasing and Supplier Network. Managem is one of the world’s 5 largest... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) is awarding $100 million in funding for 10 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build a twenty-first-century energy economy. In recognition of the importance of teams in energy research, the EFRC program brings together researchers from multiple disciplines... Read more →

Demand for raw materials used in the production of electric car batteries is set to soar, prompting the UN trade body, UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), to call for the social and environmental impacts of the extraction of raw materials, which include human rights abuses, to be... Read more →

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) announced a request for information (RFI) (DOE-FOA-0002358) on challenges and opportunities in the upstream and midstream critical-materials battery supply chains. In this RFI, DOE specifically seeks input on the current state of the battery cathode materials... Read more →

The central component of the electrolyzer, which has a major influence on efficiency and reliability, is an ion-conducting membrane. Evonik has now developed a novel anion exchange membrane (AEM), which should contribute to the breakthrough of electrolytic production of hydrogen. Anion exchange membrane (AEM) electrolysis can potentially combine the beneficial... Read more →

The COBRA (CObalt-free Batteries for FutuRe Automotive Applications) project has been awarded a €11.8-million grant to develop Next Generation Cobalt-free batteries. COBRA, which aims to develop lithium, cobalt-free batteries made with new energy storage materials that incorporate intelligent sensors to help enhance their energy efficiency, is funded by the European... Read more →

Ampcera announces a low-cost and scalable solid electrolyte technology for solid-state batteries

Silicon-Valley-based Ampcera announced a low-cost flexible solid electrolyte (SE) membrane technology for solid-state batteries (SSBs). Unlike conventional lithium ion batteries (LIBs) that include a flammable liquid or gel polymer electrolyte, SSBs use a safe SE and promise to double the driving range of electric vehicles when loaded with the same... Read more →

DOE selects 11 manufacturing and materials projects to receive $3.3M for high performance computing research

The US Department of Energy (DOE) selected 11 projects to receive $3.3 million in federal funding for cost-shared research and development. The projects will use high performance computing to address key technical challenges in US manufacturing and materials development. Through DOE’s High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) initiative, selected... Read more →

A team of Brown University researchers has used reduced graphene oxide (rGO) to enhance the toughness of an oxide-based solid-state lithium-ion conductor. In an open-access paper in the journal Matter, they report demonstrating materials with a greater than 2-fold enhancement in the average fracture toughness (KIC). To our knowledge, this... Read more →

Oy ECE EcoCooling Engineering Ltd, part of a portfolio of Finnish high-tech companies developing world-leading technologies, such as the front-lit technology used in Amazon Kindle-devices, is bringing to market the EcoCooling method to replace conventional metalworking fluids with ionized, cooled air. EcoCooling was developed and industrialized by the portfolio company... Read more →

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €125-million loan with Umicore, the Belgian-based global materials technology and recycling group, to finance part of the greenfield production facility for cathode materials in Poland. The cathode materials will be supplied to battery manufacturers of high-tech lithium-ion batteries that are primarily used... Read more →

Cranfield: switching from aluminum to zinc alloys could greatly improve longevity and sustainability of automotive parts

A new study by researchers at Cranfield University in the UK finds that switching from aluminum to zinc alloys in the production of automotive parts could greatly enhance their longevity and sustainability. The study, conducted by Cranfield’s Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Center, evaluated the performance of three different alloys (aluminum-A380, magnesium-AZ91D... Read more →

Johnson Matthey refocusing its LFP business to support eLNO battery materials

Johnson Matthey’s Alternative Powertrain business provides battery systems for a range of applications, fuel cell technologies and battery materials for automotive applications. Its Battery Materials business comprises lithium iron phosphate (LFP) materials as well as eLNO—a portfolio of leading ultra-high energy density materials. For the fiscal year ending 31 March,... Read more →

Audi began using aluminum in 1994 with the first Audi A8 with the Audi Space Frame. Audi continues to use the lightweight metal in various components of what is now the fourth generation of the luxury sedan as part of an innovative multi-material mix. The production of aluminum is very... Read more →

Flow of lithium ions into and out of alloy battery anodes has long been a limiting factor in how much energy batteries could hold using conventional materials. Too much ion flow causes anode materials to swell and then shrink during charge-discharge cycles, causing mechanical degradation that shortens battery life. To... Read more →

Constellium SE signed a multi-year contract with Airbus. The new 10-year agreement supports all Airbus programs. Under this agreement, Constellium will supply Airbus with a broad range of advanced aluminum rolled and extruded products, including wing skin panels, sheets for fuselage panels, and rectangular and pre-machined plates for structural components.... Read more →

Scientists from the Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, have developed a novel silica-based cathode for lithium–sulfur batteries, thereby enabling the realization of batteries that can last for more than 2,000 charge/discharge cycles. The possibility of successfully using the unconventional silica could spark a paradigm shift in rechargeable... Read more →

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Critical Materials Institute (CMI) announced up to $4 million in funding (CMI OPI Call) to address challenges in establishing domestic supply chains for critical materials with specific emphasis on industrial relevance, participation, and adoption. Critical elements important to clean energy technologies currently included in... Read more →

Roskill: Nickel sulfate to be the key growth area of nickel demand over the next decade; driven by EVs

As a crucial raw material in Li-ion batteries used to electrify vehicles, a significant volume of nickel sulfate will be required in the decade ahead from the booming automotive sector. In a newly-released report (Nickel Sulphate Outlook to 2029, 3rd Edition) on the nickel sulfate industry, Roskill forecasts that growth... Read more →

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall, the partners in the joint venture HYBRIT (earlier post), are preparing for the construction of a demonstration plant for the production of fossil-free steel on an industrial scale. Consultations have begun for deciding on placement of the plant in Norrbotten, Sweden. The plan is for construction... Read more →

Samsung SDI injects capital into EcoPro EM JV for battery materials

Samsung SDI has begun injecting capital into EcoPro EM, a joint venture with EcoPro BM, a supplier of EV battery cathode materials to Samsung. EcoPro BM in turn is a subsidiary of EcoPro, a company that develops and produces technologies to remove and prevent air pollution from various sources. EcoPro... Read more →

Magnesium (Mg) is a promising candidates to replace lithium for electrochemical energy storage devices due to its abundance—far greater than that of lithium—enhanced safety, and theoretical high volumetric capacity. However, Mg batteries suffer from sluggish kinetics and poor reversibility, making it difficult to achieve high volumetric capacity. Now, researchers at... Read more →

Australia-based Argosy Minerals Limited confirmed the successful export shipment of five tonnes of >99.5% lithium carbonate product from its industrial-scale pilot plant operations at the Rincon Lithium Project in Salta Province, Argentina. The preliminary five tonne cargo was loaded onto the ship on Wednesday and set sail overnight from Buenos... Read more →

Inorganic NASCION‐type Li conductors have great potential to bring high capacity solid‐state lithium batteries (SSLBs) to realization, due to properties such as high ionic conductivity, stability under ambient conditions, wide electrochemical stability window, and inexpensive production. However, despite the merits, the integration of NASCION-type electrolytes in SSLBs is still hampered... Read more →

Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers have developed a thin-film, highly conductive solid-state electrolyte made of a polymer and ceramic-based composite for lithium metal batteries. Solid electrolytes are promising in enabling lithium metal to replace the conventional graphite anode to significantly increase the capacity and energy density of lithium-ion batteries. There... Read more →

Scientists at Kyoto University’s Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences (iCeMS) have developed a new coordination polymer glass membrane for hydrogen fuel cells that works just as well as its liquid counterparts with added strength and flexibility. A paper on the work is published in the journal Chemical Science. PEM hydrogen... Read more →

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $30 million in funding (DE-FOA-0002322) for research and development that focuses on field validation and demonstration, as well as next-generation extraction, separation, and processing technologies for critical materials. Through this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), the Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) seeks to... Read more →

London-based sustainability consultancy Kumi, a market leader in responsible sourcing practices for global supply chains, has launched a due diligence tool called CAHRA Map to enable companies in the minerals and metals sector to identify “conflict-affected and high-risk areas” (CAHRAs). The identification of CAHRAs is a critical step in the... Read more →

The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $7.8 to two lithium recovery projects. Uniquely high concentrations of the dissolved soft metal are found in the brine produced by the state’s geothermal hotspots. The Salton Sea Known Geothermal Area contains an estimated six million tons of recoverable lithium within presently available geothermal... Read more →

Australia-based EcoGraf Limited has received confirmation that its high-purity graphite, which is produced from low-value graphite by-product fines utilising the EcoGraf process, has been qualified by two leading European industrial customers as meeting their strict physical and chemical specifications. The company’s product samples achieved the customers’ strict specifications including particle... Read more →

FCA says that its latest Global Warming Potential (GWP) analysis found that the redesigned-for-2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited has an overall GWP 15% lower than that of its predecessor. The GWP improvement was calculated using industry-standard software that examines multiple factors associated with a vehicle’s design, production and on-road performance. These... Read more →

A new World Bank Group report finds that the production of minerals, such as graphite, lithium and cobalt, could increase by nearly 500% by 2050, to meet the growing demand for clean energy technologies. It estimates that more than 3 billion tons of minerals and metals will be needed to... Read more →

India’s leading power trading company Manikaran Power Limited (MPL), in collaboration with its partner Australian project development company Neometals Ltd, has initiated a jointly-financed AACE Class 3 Feasibility Study (FS) to evaluate a lithium hydroxide refinery located in India with a nameplate capacity of a 20,000 tonnes per annum LCE... Read more →

A team from the University of Hong Kong and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have achieved improved fracture resistance in a steel with an ultrahigh yield strength of nearly 2GPa by activating delamination toughening coupled with transformation-induced plasticity. A paper on their work appears in the journal Science. Ashby map in... Read more →

Digital manufacturing innovator VELO3D announced the commercial release of a manufacturing process for additively manufactured parts in Aluminum F357 on the company’s Sapphire metal 3D-printing system. Aluminum F357 is a beryllium-free aluminum-silicon alloy, similar to A357. It has excellent weldability and corrosion resistance. The foundry-grade aluminum alloy, suitable for the... Read more →

First Cobalt Corp. announced positive results from an independent feasibility study conducted on its permitted cobalt refinery in Ontario, Canada. The study contemplates expanding the existing facility and adapting it to be North America’s first producer of cobalt sulfate, an essential component in the manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles.... Read more →

Ingevity and Ozinga Energy are partnering to begin a field demonstration of adsorbed natural gas (ANG) bi-fuel pickup trucks. Developed by Adsorbed Natural Gas Products, Inc. (ANGP) and Ingevity, the ANG system is made possible by the performance of Ingevity’s Nuchar activated carbon that significantly lowers the natural gas storage... Read more →

Baker Institute team explores hydrogen production via methane pyrolysis with co-generation and sale of carbon products

Hydrogen as a zero-carbon energy carrier has the potential to transform fundamentally the global energy landscape—but the production must benefit the environment, according to experts at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. Rachel Meidl, the fellow in energy and environment at the institute’s Center for Energy Studies, and Emily... Read more →

The European GRAMOFON Project, coordinated by AIMPLAS, the Plastics Technology Center has developed an innovative CO2 capture process based on novel nanomaterials and microwave energy. The project results therefore contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 13 on Climate Action of the UN Global Compact through decarbonization with the major advantage of... Read more →

In October 2019, the London Metal Exchange (LME) released its requirements on responsible sourcing for Brands. Starting 2023, LME Brands must be compliant with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas (OECD Guidance). (More than 500 brands from 55 countries are... Read more →

ARPA-E announced up to $28 million in funding (DE-FOA-0002337) for a new program, ULtrahigh Temperature Impervious Materials Advancing Turbine Efficiency (ULTIMATE). The ULTIMATE program will develop and demonstrate ultrahigh-temperature materials that can operate in high temperature and high stress environments of a gas turbine blade. Projects will specifically target gas... Read more →

Russian titanium producer VSMPO-AVISMA has cut its 2020 production plans by some 32% in response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on key end-use markets. Citing the implications of a collapse in air travel on the need for new aircraft and repairs to the existing fleet, along with production... Read more →

LG Chem will invest about 65 billion KRW (US$ 53 million) by Q1 of next year to expand the production of carbon nanotubes (CNT) by 1,200 tons at its Yeosu plant in Korea. Once the expansion is made, LG Chem will have a total production capacity of 1,700 tons. With... Read more →

SGL Carbon to produce carbon fiber battery housing cover for BMW Group

The BMW Group has selected SGL Carbon to produce a cover component for battery enclosures. This substantial multi-year order will include the production of an innovative glass-fiber-based cover plate for the battery housing for usage in a future plug-in hybrid model of BMW Group. Composite materials m are suited for... Read more →

Ten years after ArcelorMittal introduced the first S-in motion study for fuel-powered vehicles (earlier post), it is launching a new set of S-in motion solutions for battery electric vehicles (BEVs). To visualize the smart BEV steel solutions, an online 3D car configurator is now available. The configurator shows how ArcelorMittal’s... Read more →

Canada-based DeepGreen Metals Inc., a company focused on sourcing metals with the least environmental and societal impact, has released the results of a year-long study it commissioned into the impacts of sourcing metals to produce battery cathodes and wiring for electric vehicles (EVs). Demand for certain EV battery metals is... Read more →

COVID-19 outbreak poised to strengthen EV momentum and the markets for cobalt and copper

by Benedikt Sobotka, CEO of Eurasian Resources Group, Co-Chair of the Global Battery Alliance. Over the past couple of years, the drive towards electric vehicles has been relentless, with tens of billions of dollars committed to the electrification of new model offerings. Automakers have faced two major hurdles. First, the... Read more →

As COVID-19 continues to spread worldwide, the pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on the global economy and commodity markets, including cobalt. With countries imposing prevention and control measures against the virus, a number of cobalt-producing operations have been temporarily closed for maintenance since March. Roskill has so far recorded... Read more →

Researchers from Texas A&M University, in collaboration with scientists in the Air Force Research Laboratory, have developed guidelines that allow 3D printing of martensitic steels into very sturdy, defect-free objects of nearly any shape. A paper on their work is published in the journal Acta Materialia. Steels are made of... Read more →

Canada-based NextSource Materials Inc. executed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with its Japanese offtake partner and a leading Chinese processor of graphite anode material to collaborate on the construction of a value-add, battery anode plant in a jurisdiction that is proximal to the Company’s Molo graphite project in Madagascar. Source:... Read more →