Volvo Group revealed what it said was the world’s first vehicle made of fossil-free steel from SSAB (earlier post)—made in Volvo Construction Equipment’s facility in Braås, Sweden. More vehicles will follow in 2022 in what will be a series of concept vehicles and components using fossil-free steel from SSAB. The... Read more →


Rio Tinto targets low-carbon steel production with new technology; biomass and microwaves

Rio Tinto is progressing new technology to deliver low-carbon steel, using sustainable biomass in place of coking coal in the steelmaking process, in a potentially cost-effective option to cut industry carbon emissions. Over the past decade, Rio Tinto has developed a laboratory-proven process that combines the use of raw, sustainable... Read more →


Lightsource bp, together with Xcel Energy and EVRAZ North America, launched its new 300-megawatt Bighorn Solar project. Lightsource bp, a 50:50 joint venture with bp, unveiled the solar project that will help reduce emissions and support more than 1,000 jobs at EVRAZ’s Pueblo steel mill—the world’s first steel mill to... Read more →


Researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) and the US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM), Army Research Laboratory, have designed a novel electrolyte incorporating a new class of solvents that could lead to rechargeable metal batteries based on magnesium (Mg) or calcium (Ca) while having equal or higher energy... Read more →


Alumobility, a non-profit organization focused on technical studies to advance the adoption of aluminum automotive body sheet, revealed the results of its newest study demonstrating that an aluminum automotive top hat—the upper structure of a vehicle’s Body-in-White—can save significant weight compared to steel while meeting or exceeding automakers’ performance criteria.... Read more →


Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory are hosting a 15-minute open-access webinar on 28 October about how to block threats to supplies of rare earth minerals using supercomputers. A wide range of devices and machines rely on rare earth elements that are mined and refined largely in China. But supplies are... Read more →


Rock Tech Lithium intends to build Europe’s first lithium converter—a production plant for battery-grade lithium hydroxide—in Guben, Brandenburg, Germany. The company intends to locate all production steps of lithium refining in one overall plant at the Guben site. The converter is scheduled to start operations in 2024. Location at the... Read more →


New research led by scientists at Penn State and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) demonstrates how a protein isolated from bacteria can provide a more environmentally friendly way to extract rare earth elements from unconventional sources such as mine tailings and e-waste and to separate them from other metals... Read more →


Renault Group and Finland-based metals producer Terrafame have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the future supply of nickel sulfate. With this agreement, Renault Group will secure a significant annual supply of nickel sulfate from Terrafame, representing up to 15 GWh of annual capacity. The cooperation will start by... Read more →


Australia-based emerging lithium producer Sayona Mining is acquiring the Moblan Lithium Project in the Eeyou‐Istchee James Bay region of Northern Québec (Moblan Project). Under an agreement with Lithium Royalty Corp. (LRC), Sayona will acquire LRC’s right to purchase the 60% interest in the Moblan project (Moblan Interest) held by Guo... Read more →


Prices of lithium carbonate assessed by Benchmark Mineral Intelligence have reached new highs on the back of limited supply and sustained lithium-ion battery demand in China. Benchmark’s EXW China (Battery) grade of lithium carbonate rose by 26.5% to RMB 160,000/tonne ($24,800) in the final two weeks of September 2021. This... Read more →


Farasis Energy reports 25% energy boost for EV batteries with Group14 SCC55 silicon-carbon anode

Group14, a provider of silicon-carbon composite materials (earlier post) and China-based Li-ion battery maker Farasis Energy (earlier post) reported a 25% boost in energy density for EV batteries made with Group14’s silicon-carbon anode material. In cells built and tested by Farasis utilizing Group14’s flagship silicon-carbon anode material SCC55 (earlier post),... Read more →


Researchers at Changsha University of Science & Technology in China have used spent asphalt to produce a high-performance universal Li/Na/K-ion anode material. A paper on their work is published in the Journal of Power Sources. Asphalt is a dark brown to black cementitious material in which the predominating constituents are... Read more →


BMW Group investing in lithium extraction company Lilac Solutions

To promote environmentally-friendly, resource-efficient extraction of lithium, the BMW Group is investing, through its venture capital fund BMW i Ventures, in US startup Lilac Solutions. Lilac Solutions has developed and patented an ion-exchange technology that can significantly improve efficiency, costs and sustainability of extracting lithium from brine resources (earlier post).... Read more →


GM, GE Renewable Energy partner to develop supply chain of rare earth and other materials to support EV and renewable energy growth

General Motors and GE Renewable Energy signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to evaluate opportunities to improve supplies of heavy and light rare earth materials and magnets, copper and electrical steel used for manufacturing of electric vehicles and renewable energy equipment. The initial focus of the collaboration will be... Read more →


DOE finalizes $21.9M award to support rare earth processing and separation demonstration plant

The US Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has finalized an Assistance Agreement providing approximately US$21.9 million to a project led by General Atomics for the engineering, construction and operation of a rare earth separation and processing demonstration plant to be located in Wyoming. (Earlier post.)... Read more →


LG Energy Solution (LGES) has signed a six-year binding term sheet with Canadaa-based Sigma Lithium Corporation for an offtake agreement on a “take or pay” basis for the sale of 6% battery-grade high purity and environmentally sustainable lithium concentrate. The six-year agreement scales from 60,000 tons per year in 2023... Read more →


Nano One and Euro Manganese have entered into a Joint Development Agreement. Nano One is a clean technology company with patented processes for the low-cost, low-environmental footprint production of high-performance cathode materials used in lithium-ion batteries, and Euro Manganese is a battery raw materials company developing a significant manganese deposit... Read more →


A new report from RMI (Rocky Mountain Institute) finds that it is technically and economically feasible for China’s steel industry to decarbonize by 2050 through demand reduction, steel recycling and switching to green routes. China produces and consumes more than half of the world’s steel, accounting for about 17% of... Read more →


Solid Power awarded up to $12.5M to develop nickel- and cobalt-free all-solid-state battery cells; ≥500 Wh/kg target

Solid Power, Inc., a developer of all-solid-state battery cells for electric vehicles, announced an award from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) for a multi-phase, multi-year research contract to develop nickel- and cobalt-free all-solid-state battery cells. Solid Power expects to receive up to $12.5 million to complete the project... Read more →


CATL acquiring Millennial Lithium for C$377M; beating Ganfeng Lithium offer

China-based battery-maker CATL will acquire Canada-based Millenial Lithium in an all-cash deal of approximately C$377 million (US$298 million) (C$3.85 per common share), after topping an earlier offer by Ganfeng Lithium of C$3.60/share. After receiving the CATL offer, Millennial notified Ganfeng that this proposal constituted a “Superior Proposal” in accordance with... Read more →


Albemarle Corporation’s subsidiary, Albemarle Lithium UK Limited, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding equity of Guangxi Tianyuan New Energy Materials Co., Ltd. ("Tianyuan"), a lithium converter located in Guangxi, China. Under the terms of the agreement, Albemarle will acquire all outstanding equity from Tianyuan’s shareholders... Read more →


The world has entered the “lithium century” almost without noticing it, but until now this critical industry lacked a central voice. Of the many applications for lithium batteries, electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage solutions (ESS) stand out as by far the largest and fastest growing sectors, driven by the... Read more →


Researchers in the EU RECOTRANS (Integrated manufacturing of REcyclable multi-material COmposites for the TRANSport sector) have used microwaves and laser welding to obtain recyclable composites for automotive and transport. The project, led by AIMPLAS, is intended to help produce lighter and, therefore, less polluting vehicles without increasing costs. RECOTRANS researchers... Read more →


Vulcan Energy Resources signed an agreement with chemical park management company Infraserv to secure a site for its planned Central Lithium Plant (CLP) of its Zero Carbon Lithium Project, at the Höchst Chemical Park (Industriepark Höchst), located just outside of Frankfurt. Höchst is one of Europe’s largest chemical sites and... Read more →


A typical method of hydrogen storage is physically storing hydrogen using compression or liquefaction; these methods require higher energy to increase storage capacity and expensive distributing infrastructure. To overcome these limitations, research efforts to store hydrogen chemically in liquid carriers, such as liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHCs) or ammonia, have... Read more →


Researchers from Sandia National Laboratories and international collaborators used computational approaches, including explainable machine learning models, to elucidate new high-entropy alloys with attractive hydrogen storage properties and direct laboratory synthesis and validation. Solid-state hydrogen storage materials that are optimized for specific use cases could be a crucial facilitator of the... Read more →


Vulcan Energy Resources’ chemical engineering team has successfully produced its first battery-quality lithium hydroxide monohydrate (LHM) from piloting operations. The LHM was produced from Vulcan’s sorption pilot plant, located at a geothermal renewable energy plant in the Upper Rhine Valley in Germany, with downstream electrolysis processing offsite, as per Vulcan’s... Read more →


Betolar and JA-KO Betoni to use Keliber’s lithium mine side streams for lower-carbon concrete

Betolar, a Finnish material technology company that offers sustainable and low-carbon concrete production, and concrete company JA-KO Betoni, are assisting Keliber (earlier post), which is preparing a lithium mine in Kaustinen, Finland, in utilizing the massive side streams typically produced in the mining industry. Tailings produced as a side stream... Read more →


ORNL laser-interference structuring technique shows potential for reducing industrial chemical processing for vehicles

Long-lasting protection from corrosion is essential for materials used for vehicles and aircraft to ensure structural integrity amid extreme operating conditions. Two chemical pre-treatment processes are widely used in industrial settings to prepare for coating adhesion and protect aluminum alloy surfaces against corrosion. While highly regulated, both processes use large... Read more →


Toshiba Corporation, Sojitz Corporation, and CBMM have entered into a joint development agreement for the commercialization of next generation lithium-ion batteries using niobium titanium oxide (NTO) as the anode material. One of the major requirements for rechargeable battery development is greater energy density and faster charging. NTO has twice the... Read more →


Constellium to supply aluminum structural components for Ford F-150 Lightning EV

Constellium SE will supply aluminum structural components for the recently introduced all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning that is expected to be available Spring 2022. The F-150 Lightning, and all F-Series pickup trucks, extensively use high-strength aluminum alloys. Constellium-supplied structural components for the F-150 Lightning include the windshield header, rocker, radiator support,... Read more →


6K raises $51M to accelerate advanced battery material development and global expansion of additive manufacturing powders

6K, a developer of microwave plasma technology for the production of advanced materials for energy storage and additive manufacturing powders (earlier post), closed a $51M Series C financing round. With this investment, 6K will complete its Battery Development Center of Excellence, adding 33,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art product development space... Read more →


Argonne, PNNL researchers develop new cobalt-free cathode for high-energy Li-ion cells

A team from Argonne National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has developed a new cobalt-free cathode for high-energy lithium-ion cells. The novel LiMn0.5Ni0.5O2 cathode with a predominant, partially-disordered lithiated-spinel structure was prepared by a low-temperature (LT) synthesis. In an open-access paper in the RSC journal Chemical Communications, the... Read more →


SABIC has introduced NORYL GTX 9500 resin, a new addition to a range of unfilled NORYL GTX resin grades, which delivers excellent dimensional stability under hot and humid conditions, addressing the challenge for highly demanding automotive applications. SABIC’s NORYL GTX 9500 resin retains a better balance of mechanical properties when... Read more →


Adamas: 108 GWh in new EV battery capacity deployed in 2021 H1; 7 battery suppliers responsible for 90%

Adamas Intelligence has published its 5th semiannual State of Charge: EVs, Batteries and Battery Materials report. The report provides an overview of the global EV market’s performance over the past half-year (2021 H1) and its implications on the ever-evolving battery and battery materials supply chains. Among the findings of the... Read more →


Rio Tinto to triple Weipa solar capacity and add battery storage to help power bauxite mining operations

Rio Tinto has approved a new solar farm and battery storage at Weipa in Queensland, in a move that will more than triple the local electricity network’s solar generation capacity and help provide cleaner power to Rio Tinto’s operations. The Weipa operations in Far North Queensland includes three bauxite mines,... Read more →


Lithium price rises accelerated in the first half of September as surging demand and raw material supply concerns combined to push Chinese domestic prices up to their highest levels since mid-2018 according to data from Benchmark’s Lithium Price Assessment. Lithium hydroxide and carbonate price rises accelerated to new levels in... Read more →


BASF and CATL partner with a focus on cathode active materials and battery recycling

BASF SE (BASF) and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL) announced a strategic partnership on battery materials solutions, including cathode active materials (CAM) and battery recycling. The collaboration aims at developing a sustainable battery value chain, in support of CATL’s localization in Europe and contributes to achieving both companies’ global... Read more →


South Africa-based Sibanye-Stillwater will establish a joint venture company with Australia-based ioneer with respect to ioneer’s Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project. Sibanye-Stillwater will contribute US$490 million for a 50% interest in the joint venture, with ioneer maintaining a 50% interest and retaining the operational management responsibility for the joint venture. The... Read more →


Albemarle, a leading global producer of lithium, bromine and catalyst solutions, expects lithium industry demand to reach 1.14 million MT LCE (lithium carbonate equivalent) by 2025—approaching approximately 30% CAGR—driven by increasing EV sales volumes and battery sizes. With battery costs declining and performance improving, there is an increasing need for... Read more →


Frost & Sullivan: Li-ion battery materials market to reach $51.60B by 2027 from $18.75B in 2020; 15.6% CAGR

Frost & Sullivan projects that the global Li-ion battery materials market will reach $51.60 billion by 2027 from $18.75 billion in 2020 at a 15.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). The advancements in battery chemistries and technologies, upsurge in electric vehicle (EV) sales, evolving regulatory scenario, and increasing consumer preferences... Read more →


A new Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program— Environmental Microbes as a BioEngineering Resource (EMBER) (HR001121S0035)—seeks to develop novel, bio-based technologies to overcome key challenges facing domestic supply of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) critical to the US and Department of Defense (DoD). Although the US has domestic REE resources,... Read more →


Construction of SRC rare earth processing facility in Canada underway

Construction of the first stage of the Saskatchewan Research Council’s (SRC) Rare Earth Processing Facility, which includes a Monazite Processing Unit (MPU) and a Solvent Extraction Unit (SXU), is underway The facility will be the first of its kind in Canada. In August 2020, the Government of Saskatchewan announced $31... Read more →


Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and high-grade nickel and a major producer of platinum and copper; Rosatom State Corporation; and the Far Eastern Shipbuilding and Ship Repair Center (FESRC, part of Rosneft Oil Company) have signed an agreement of intent to design and build a dual-fuel diesel-LNG icebreaker... Read more →


DOE awards $30M to secure domestic supply chain of critical materials

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced $30 million in funding for 13 national lab and university-led research projects to develop new technologies that will help secure the supply of critical materials that build clean energy technologies (DE-FOA-0002483) (earlier post). The selected research projects aim to diversify the supply of,... Read more →


Benchmark: growing disconnect between battery demand and raw material supply

Thee is a growing disconnect between battery demand and raw material supply that could derail Europe’s and North America’s electrification plans, according to Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Outside of China, Europe and North America are the key regions developing significant lithium-ion cell production capacity. Europe now has 778 GWh of capacity... Read more →


Johnson Matthey partners with OnTo on direct recycling of Li-ion battery scrap

Johnson Matthey, a global leader in sustainable technologies, has entered into an agreement with OnTo Technology, a developer of advanced battery recycling solutions, to scale up OnTo’s patented process for the direct recycling of lithium-ion battery scrap. The partners will collaborate with the UK Battery Industrialization Center (UKBIC), the newly... Read more →


Echion Technologies, a spin-off from the University of Cambridge developing niobium oxide-based materials for anodes, has closed a £10-million (US$13.8 million) Series A funding round. The Series-A funding round was led by CBMM—the world’s leading supplier of niobium products—and BGF—the UK & Ireland’s most active and dynamic investor of equity... Read more →


With demand for lithium set to rise over the next decade, Roskill has examined the various ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) concerns that downstream investors and customers face in sourcing lithium products. As sustainability has been brought to the forefront of the lithium debate, producers have sought to underscore their... Read more →